Addleshaw Goddard

UK 200 2014 position: 22

Government publishes response to consultation on mandatory equal-pay audits

The government has published its response to the consultation on how mandatory equal-pay audits will operate, together with the draft regulations that will govern the new system. Save in limited circumstances, employment tribunals will be required to order that an employer undertakes an equal-pay audit where it is decided that the employer has: (i) failed to comply with equal-pay legislation; or (ii) discriminated on the grounds of sex in non-contractual pay matters. Employment tribunals will have this power in respect of claims presented on or after 1 October 2014.

In June 2012, the government published its response to the equal-pay proposals set out in the Modern Workplaces Consultation and confirmed that employers who lost equal-pay claims may be required to carry out equal-pay audits. The response confirmed that where an employment tribunal finds that an employer had discriminated on the grounds of sex in contractual or non-contractual pay, and it considered that there may be continuing or likely discrimination, it may order that the employer conducts an equal-pay audit.

On 25 April 2013, section 98 of the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 introduced a power to make regulations to introduce equal-pay audits. In May 2013, the government published a further consultation on how equal-pay audits should operate in practice. Although the consultation received a relatively small number of responses (43), it has taken the government a year to publish its response, together with a draft version of the Equality Act 2010 (Equal Pay Audits) Regulations 2014. The consultation proposals and the responses are considered below…

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