Section 1: equal pay audits


19 / 10 / 2015 Midnight

Equal pay is an aspect of potential discrimination in employment relating to unequal pay for equal work.

What is an equal pay audit?

  • It is the most effective way of establishing whether your organisation is providing equal pay and rewarding employees fairly in practice.
  • It demonstrates you are meeting your equal pay obligations under the Equality Act 2010 and provides a risk assessment tool for pay structures. It can greatly assist your organisation to be more open and transparent about its pay and remuneration policy.
  • It fulfills a substantial part of your requirements to publish certain data under the public sector Equality Duty.

An equal pay audit is not simply a data collection exercise. It includes a commitment to put right any unjustified pay inequalities, and must have the involvement and support of managers with the authority to deliver the necessary changes. It is also important to involve staff side representatives to maximise the validity of the audit and success of subsequent action taken.

All staff are covered by the equal pay requirements of the Equality Act 2010, as well as those under Agenda for Change.

What does an equal pay audit involve?

An equal pay audit involves:

  • comparing the pay of protected groups who are doing equal work in your organisation
  • investigating the causes of any pay gaps by gender, ethnicity, disability or working pattern
  • planning to close any gaps that cannot be justified on grounds other than one of those characteristics.

What are the benefits of carrying out an equal pay audit?

The benefits of carrying out equal pay audits include:

  • complying with the law and good practice
  • identifying, explaining and eliminating unjustifiable pay gaps
  • having rational, fair, transparent pay arrangements
  • demonstrating to employees and to potential employees a commitment to fairness and equality
  • demonstrating your values to those you do business with.

More information and guidance on equal pay audits and legislation can be found on the Equality and Human Rights Commission website.

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