Consultation on Modern Workplaces: Concerns raised over plans to introduce gender pay audits

The government’s plan to introduce gender pay audits has raised concerns among business groups.

The proposal was outlined in the Consultation of Modern Workplaces, which is due to close today after seeking views on a number of changes to employment law, including flexible working and parental leave.

The EEF argued that gender pay audits would place an unnecessary burden on businesses and reduce, rather than increase, transparency on gender pay differences. The manufacturers’ organisation also said that gender pay audits go against the grain of recent government initiatives to encourage voluntary reporting of gender pay differences.

Tim Thomas, head of employment affairs at EEF, said: “Employers will draw a line in the sand on plans for gender pay audits.

“Pay audits will do little to increase pay transparency in the private sector and are likely to have the opposite effect.”

David Frost, director general of the British Chambers of Commerce, aded: “If an organisation loses a gender pay case, under these proposals not only will they pay compensation to the claimant, and a possible fine to the Treasury, but they will also be forced to undergo a pay audit.†

“The tribunal system is already chaotic, and this proposal will add further complexity and could encourage more weak and vexatious claims against employers.”

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