An organisation has welcomed the inclusion of equal pay audits in the recently-published Equalities Bill.
According to everywoman, the move represents progress in the battle to make the employment market fairer for women.
Its training director Toni Eastwood OBE said that the audits, which will force firms to publish pay data for men and women in their employment, are a further step towards reducing gender discrimination.
However, she also said it is "disappointing" that employers have to be named and shamed into implementing equal pay practices.
Ms Eastwood added: "In order for companies to remain productive and competitive throughout the downturn ... offering equal working conditions to both men and women will ensure the best talent is attracted to your company, regardless of their background."
The Equalities Bill seeks to make current legislation governing discrimination more simple by incorporating a range of areas, including age, sex and race discrimination, into one bill.