Who will foot the bill for gender pay gap?On 20 Aug 2002 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article The problem with closing the pay gap is that someone, somewhere is going tohave to pay. It certainly can prove very expensive for employers, as the caseof Birmingham City Council demonstrates (News, page 1). Who is going to footthe council’s bill of £15m for raising women’s pay? The CBI objects to mandatory equal pay audits on the basis both that thevoluntary approach is better and that the real cause of unequal pay between thegenders is women’s need for career breaks and flexibility due to childcare. Theargument seems to be that if women will insist on having time off work whenthey have children then they will have to pay the price which is lower pay. But while the CBI is right that the Government should address the issue ofchildcare, this does not mean bad employers should be allowed to get away withpaying women less than men. Leaving aside the issue of whether childcare should be the exclusivepreserve of women, at least as far as pay is concerned, the issue is about HRpractice. From the HR point of view, it is simply not good practice to pay one groupof workers less than another for work of equal or greater value. If this washappening between groups of staff within an organisation who were of the samegender, any decent HR manager would instantly set about putting it right. Thisis because good HR is about aligning reward with the value of the work beingdone. So why is it that when there is gender pay inequality some employers have tobe shown the big stick of employment law before they will act? One thing is clear: employers cannot afford to bury their heads in the sand.With the EOC and the unions putting pressure on the Government to force throughequal pay audits, the ultimate price for failing to bring women’s pay levelwith men’s will be more legislation. Related posts:No related photos.