Small business must address pay discrepancies

by Christopher Evans

Small businesses could find themselves facing legal action unless they address pay discrepancies between men and women.

A new report from the Equality and Human Rights Commission has found that progress on cracking the glass ceiling seems to have stopped.

According to the findings, women aged 40 still earn more than a quarter (27 per cent) less than their male colleagues.

Under the new Equality Act, employers can no longer use secrecy clauses in employment contracts to prevent employees revealing details of pay packets to each other.

The triennial report on societal change also found that there was an average of 16.9 per cent difference in men and women's pay in 2009.

In addition, there was a huge disparity in lifetime earnings between women with degrees and mothers without degrees – the latter loses up to 58 per cent pay as a result of motherhood, compared to four per cent for the former.

Employers could need to address these inequalities in the workplace, as failing to do so could result in employment disputes.

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Published on: October 12, 2010

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