02 November 2010
CMI: Employers have no excuse over unequal pay
Employers in the UK no longer have any excuse to encounter sex discrimination grievance cases based around the issue of equal pay.
That is according to the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), which has spoken of its support for a campaign being led by the Fawcett Society - the equal rights group originally established in 1866 - for female business managers and the government to "take greater steps to enforce pay equality".
The CMI stated that this can be achieved through initiatives such as closer monitoring of organisations to make sure they comply with equal rights legislation and also naming and shaming any firm which fails to do so.
A survey conducted by the CMI earlier this year revealed that pay equality for women in comparison to their male counterparts may still be as far as 50 years away, but the organisation maintains that a difference can be made immediately by stronger regulation of companies across the nation.
Samantha Mangwana, employment solicitor at Russell Jones & Walker and Fawcett Society Trustee, commented: "What these statistics demonstrate is what a mountain still remains to be climbed in order for men and women to get equal pay in this country. Pay discrimination has already been unlawful for 40 years, so it is incredibly depressing to hear so little progress has been made that at this rate equal pay will not be on the cards for another 57 years. It is clear that something radically different really is going to be needed to achieve that in our lifetimes, and so the CMI's proposals are welcomed.
"Individuals curious or concerned about whether such problems are endemic within their own organisation - or affecting their own pay or bonus - should not fear reprisals for discussing their pay with colleagues to uncover this however. The Equality Act specifically applies to protect individuals who choose to do so. And although the prospect of legal action may be daunting, individuals should feel confident about raising these issues internally. It is not always necessary to litigate to resolve the issue. HR may well be concerned about their own practices, and the potential for claims by others, so there may well be a reward for asking HR to investigate - in the form of a pay rise and up to 6 years of back pay. It really can pay to know your rights in this area."
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Posted by Richard Saunders
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