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Businesses urged to review pay systems

Small and medium-sized businesses are being urged to review their pay systems to ensure that they are complying with regulations on equal pay.

The call came from the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) and the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) and follows the release of joint guidance aimed at helping employers increase transparency around pay in the workplace.

Statistics suggest that women who work full time are still paid on average 16.4% less per hour than men. The gap is wider in the private sector than in the public, at 21.6% compared to 14.6%.

‘Businesses want to pay people fairly for the job that they do,’ said David Frost, BCC Director General. ‘This guidance should help smaller businesses analyse any pay gap and make any changes required by law.

‘Taking action now to make pay systems transparent and fair should help businesses recruit the best talent to enable the private sector to drive economic recovery.’

Dr Jean Irvine, Commissioner at the EHRC, said: ‘What we ask of small and medium size employers is not difficult; it takes minimal time and effort but can offer a real return. Linking equal work to equal pay will see employees rewarded fairly for the work they do.’

It comes in the wake of a study by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), which found that the gender pay gap between male and female managers in the UK will take 57 years to close.

A copy of the guidance can be viewed here.