26 June 2014 #Employment
The government has issued a response to its consultation "Equal Pay Audits: A Further Consultation” launched in May 2013. The government will issue draft regulations setting out minimum requirements for equal pay audits which a tribunal would be able to impose on employers found to be in breach of discrimination laws in relation to equal pay. These regulations are due to come into force on 1 October 2014.
The new requirements state that the audits need to be published in a format accessible to all staff. Employers must ensure the audits are transparent but at the same time must ensure they do not breach any legal obligations relating to disclosure of information. If there`s a risk of breaching this legal obligation employers can provide the tribunal with reasons for not publishing the audits. It is up to the tribunal’s discretion to decide if the audits will be published or not.
The government intends to use tribunals and not independent auditors to decide whether or not an audit had complied with a tribunal`s order terms.
No further guidance will be published on the requirements of the regulations as there is already guidance from the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHCR). However, the government has confirmed that it will consult with business organisations before implementation.