Advising And Defending Businesses

Why equal pay matters

On Behalf of | Nov 2, 2021 | Employment Disputes

If you are an established employer, you might want to analyze your wage structure. Gender-based pay differences have received a lot of attention in the last few years, and if you were found guilty of this, it could create problems. Remember, if one employee brings a lawsuit and succeeds, others might follow.

The Pew Research Center has carried out several studies into the gender pay gap. In a 2017 survey, where 42% of women said they had experienced gender discrimination at work, 25% of them cited pay discrimination as one of the forms they experienced. By contrast, only 22% of men said they had been discriminated against because of their gender, and only 5% cited pay discrimination.

Reducing wage-based gender discrimination claims

First, list how much each person in your company earns and order it by the roles they do. Then split the table into men and women. If a male manager makes more than a female one with a lower role, that is normal. Yet if a male manager earns more than a female one doing the same job as him, then you may have a problem.

Look at why certain people earn what they get. The more ways you break things down, the more confident you can be that you are not committing discrimination. For example, if the male manager earns more because they have been with the company longer, have extra responsibility, work longer hours or hold a higher qualification, that may justify a difference.

Yet, if the male manager has a higher qualification because the company only offered the training to him, not his female co-manager, you could leave yourself open to complaints. Look at your written pay policies too. If you are paying one employee more because they have been with you longer, check and make sure that your policy on pay rises for years worked is clear.

The more transparent your wage structures are, the less chance an employee can accuse you of subverting them due to gender. Doing all you can to prevent a situation where an employee feels they need to bring an employment lawsuit will benefit you, your company and your workers.