equal pay audit

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A systematic review of pay practice and outcomes undertaken to identify and eliminate sex discrimination. Potentially, an equal pay audit can embrace three types of review. First, a review of differences in pay and earnings of men and women in order to identify prima facie discrimination. Such a review might consider differences in pay between men and women in the same grade, the distribution of the sexes across grades, and the proportion of earnings of each sex composed of incentive, merit, and other supplementary payments. Second, a review of payment systems, procedures, and practice that might contribute to unequal outcomes. For example, a review might examine the extent to which part-timers enjoy equal access to bonus and supplementary earnings or the extent to which decisions on pay are concentrated in the hands of male managers. Finally, the audit might extend beyond the area of pay to consider recruitment, promotion, training, and other aspects of HRM that impinge on the sphere of reward. The statutory Code of Practice on Equal Pay recommends that an equal pay audit be carried out periodically by employers, and a number of trade unions have initiated audits of pay agreements to improve the relative earnings of their women members. Under the gender equality duty established in 2007, there is a requirement for public agencies to take action to eliminate the gender pay gap, essentially a statutory requirement to conduct an equal pay audit. Campaigners on equal pay, such as the Trades Union Congress, believe that this obligation should have been placed on all employers. [See equality bargaining.]

Subjects: Human Resource Management.

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