There is the traditional view that men are the breadwinners and should provide financial security for his family, whilst women are the child bearers who should spend their time raising the family.
However, this view is a thing of the past and women are just as successful as men. Some sectors of employment are still predominantly male, but in the ever expanding commercial sector, woman are just as motivated as their fellow males.
Contrary to this, is information published recently by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) which has revealed that on average, in the last year, men in management positions received bonuses which were twice as high as those paid out to female managers.
The report provided by CMI collects information from over 43,000 workers which revealed that during their working life, male managers stood to earn over £141,000 more in bonuses than women. The extent of this pay gap is fairly shocking.
The Chief Executive of CMI has requested a more systematic approach to resolve the situation and has made suggestions such as businesses setting targets for the percentage of woman and men at different tiers within the company, allowing flexible working options and shared parental leave and sponsorship and mentoring of talented woman.
Recently, the Government consulted on mandatory equal pay. There are proposed regulations giving Employment Tribunals the power to order employers to carry out an equal pay audit should they be found to have breached equal pay laws. It could be a significant deterrent as the audits will be published and the Employment Tribunal can impose a £5,000 fine should the employer refuse to collect the audits.
Equal pay is regulated by the Equality Act 2010 and employers should be aware that equal pay does not just relate to basic salary, but covers equality of all contractual terms of employment including factors such as company cars, bonuses and other benefits. If an employee notices an obvious discrepancy between male and female employees, the employee can raise a grievance and ultimately bring an equal pay claim in the Employment Tribunal.
As well as equality in salaries and other contractual benefits, employers should be aware of their obligations not to discriminate based on the employee’s sex. This relates to factors such as applying pay rises or making promotions.
Employers should keep a watchful eye on their employees and ensure that indirect discrimination does not occur when making decisions about employees’ salary. They should be aware of possible legal issues relating to equal pay and discrimination. It is advised that employers should consider a review of existing contractual terms within the work force to assess whether there may be any issues relating to unequal pay.
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