14 October, 2010
Forbes Solicitors is warning employers to ensure that they promote equal opportunities within the workplace or face unlimited compensation claims following the first report by The Equality and Human Rights Commission to Parliament on the progress that society is making towards its vision of equality.
The report stated that attempts to close the difference in pay between men and women appears to be "grinding to a halt" as it was revealed that women earn around 16.4% less than men which rises to 27% for women aged 40.
Amy Stokes, Employment Solicitor at Forbes comments, "The Equality Act 2010, which came in at the beginning of October seeks to address issues of discrimination and employers need to ensure they are up to speed with the legislation as defending any claim of discrimination can be costly as compensation is unlimited. There are also other provisions in respect of the publishing differences in pay between male and female employees, which are not expected to come into force until April 2013.
It is important that all employers ensure that they promote equal opportunities and consider having a policy reflecting this in place."
Further figures released include - women with no qualifications face a 58% loss in earnings over their lifetime if they have children and women with qualifications a 4% loss. Disabled men earn 10% and disabled women 22% less than other male and female workers.