Pay audits are key to equality

first_imgOne year on, the recommendations of the Equal Pay Task Force and its JustPay report are beginning to have an impact. The basics of an Equal Pay Review are straightforward. Within a Stage Onereview there is a requirement to undertake a ‘pay system equality check’ aswell as a ‘review of like work’ and a ‘review of equal value’. The latter twoinvolve simple comparisons of average hourly earnings and identifying gendergaps between pay for men and women. The main difficulty is whether thisinformation is available in a readily usable form. The Equality Check establishes whether there is a fully communicated ‘policyon equal pay’ and whether responsibility for implementation has been clearlyassigned. The crunch comes, however, with one question in the equality check:”Is there a single analytical job evaluation system in place?” Organisations cannot conduct a cursory ‘review of like work’ but mustaddress the issue at a more fundamental level – namely with a well-designed,inclusive and soundly implemented job evaluation scheme. This provides the foundation for a successful Stage 2 Review, to identifythe nature, causes and extent of pay inequalities and requires an action planto resolve any differences. The selection of factors in an analytical job evaluation scheme must benon-gender biased (there is guidance given on this in the EOC publication GoodPractice Guide on Job Evaluation Schemes Free of Sex Bias). This does notpreclude, however, the factors selected having a hard business edge to them. The best business-focused and gender-proofed schemes are designed, developedand implemented by user organisations themselves – with, generally, onlyminimal external advice being necessary if the HR team does not have theexpertise. Of course some resource input is necessary, but with the latestadvances in job holder ‘self evaluation’ this too can be limited. Job descriptions, which form a fundamental input to job evaluation, need notbe burdensome or restrictive. They can, when audited and improved, bestreamlined documents that can flex to the changing needs of the organisation.To obtain real value, the same document should be used for recruitment,training and performance improvement activities as well as providing a basisfor fair pay. The implementation of job evaluation results – whether used to devise a payspine, grades or broad bands – can result in gender bias and a pay audit willestablish whether this is the case. The potential this gives to enhancedevelopment and control of costs while rewarding contribution and achievementis immense. Derek Burn is director consulting, DLA-MCG Pay audits are key to equalityOn 21 May 2002 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more