The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), argues that raising employer awareness is the most effective way of bridging the gender pay gap in response to the Just Pay report published yesterday, by the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC). Dianah Worman, CIPD Adviser on Equal Opportunities comments, “The Commission’s call for a change in the law to require employers to review their pay systems will not achieve the changes, that are unquestionably required, in the quickest timeframe. CIPD research to be published shortly will show that legal action is in fact the least likely method to bring about change. In contrast, employee pressure and unions are the biggest drivers for taking action to redress equal pay imbalances”.
Worman continues, “Awareness of equal pay problems among organisations is low as reflected by the significant number of organisations who do not have an equal pay policy and those that do may not necessarily communicate it to employees. The CIPD believes that the key to making significant progress on equal pay is to convince employers that the problem is more widespread than they might realise, that it might exist in their organisation and to give guidance on how to address it. Equal pay is increasingly important for business given the body of evidence that confirms the link between a diverse workforce and higher productivity. It is clear however that this message is not being heard by many businesses, much to the detriment of UK plc”.
Worman concludes: “The responsibility of equal pay lies firmly with employers. With legislation now a distinct possibility, organisations that do not have equal pay provisions in place should start dealing with them urgently so that they can implement change within a timeframe that is most comfortable to them”.