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Pay discrimination cases to increase due to government's Equalities Act delay?

Pay discrimination cases to increase due to government's Equalities Act delay?

The government's decision not to introduce the Equalities Act 2010 in full could potentially lead to a widening of the gender gap on wages, which may in turn cause more grievance cases on the grounds of pay discrimination.

That is if comments made by Ceri Goddard, chief executive of the Fawcett Society, are anything to go by, as she believes that this measure by the Conservative-Liberal Democrat alliance goes some way to endorsing and even encouraging unequal pay.

Last Friday (October 1st), the government implemented around 90 per cent of this new legislation into British law, but stated that the other ten per cent of the bill passed by parliament in April of this year was now under review.

Among the measures under scrutiny is the clause that would make it compulsory for private firms with more than 250 employees to formally establish whether there is a gap in the amount paid to their male and female staff members.

And the official from the organisation - which has been present for more than a century - remarked: "Failing to implement [the Act] in full sends out a clear signal that creating a more equal society is a low priority for the coalition."

Emma Hawksworth, Partner at Russell Jones & Walker solicitors commented:  "Women's full time hourly pay still lags behind men by some 16%. It is widely recognised that our complex equal pay legislation has not met the objective of narrowing that gap quickly enough. More ambitious measures to reduce the gap would be welcome, so it is a shame that these are now under review again, especially at a time when financial conditions mean that employers may not be prioritising pay equality".

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Posted by Richard Saunders