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Call for end to gender pay gap

Call for end to gender pay gap

The earnings disparity between men and women has come under the spotlight again as firms have been urged to make sure they comply with equal pay laws.

On average full-time female workers are paid 16.4% per hour less than men on average, and the difference is as much as 21.6% in private firms, according to the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC).

Employers should be able to check pay systems in four hours thanks to a new guide published by the EHRC and the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC).

BCC director general David Frost said: "Businesses want to pay people fairly for the job that they do. This guidance should help smaller businesses analyse any pay gap and make any changes required by law.

"Taking action now to make pay systems transparent and fair should help businesses recruit the best talent to enable the private sector to drive economic recovery."

Jean Irvine, an EHRC commissioner, said: "Employers need pay systems that are both transparent and fair. While transparency is not enough in itself to reduce the pay gap between men and women, it does provide clarity. It is difficult, if not impossible, to resolve a problem that cannot be seen.

"What we ask of small and medium-size employers is not difficult – it takes minimal time and effort but can offer a real return. Linking equal work to equal pay will see employees rewarded fairly for the work they do.

"Employees will enjoy the benefits of working for a company which actively promotes equality while employers will protect themselves from a potentially costly and time-consuming equal pay claim."

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