31 August, 2011
Lancashire law firm Forbes Solicitors is warning local employers to ensure they adhere to the Equality Act as a report issued today found staggering inconsistencies between the amount men and women earn.
The report, issued by the Chartered Management Institute, found that women managers in the UK earn approximately £10,000 on average a year less than their male counterparts. It concludes with the striking result that women managers may take up to 98 years to achieve equal pay with men. Given that the principle of Equal Pay has been law since the 1970's, this is perhaps a surprising statistic.
Jonathan Holden, Employment Law Solicitor at Forbes Solicitors comments, "The gender pay gap highlighted by this report is huge. Equal pay claims presently account for a great proportion of Employment Tribunal claims which are almost always lengthy and difficult to defend for an employer, and often extremely costly. Employers must have provisions in place to ensure that women and men are paid equally for the work that is carried out. Regular equality pay reviews are a sensible idea in order to assure that no inequality has crept in."
The Employment Tribunal will not take into consideration whether an employer had an actual intention not to pay men and women on an equal basis; merely being demonstrated to have done so is enough. It is important that any employer who feels this is an issue takes specialist legal advice at a very early stage in order to adequately protect themselves against the possibility of claims being brought.