Equal pay legislation needs radical overhaul

Responding to comments this morning from Trevor Phillips, chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, that the Equal Pay Act is contributing to a huge backlog of equal pay cases at employment tribunals and is past its ‘sell-by date’, Liberal Democrat Women and Equalities Spokesperson, Lynne Featherstone said:

“The current law simply isn’t working as it should to protect people from discrimination.

“The Equal Pay Act is based on the outdated view that discrimination is a rare occurrence perpetrated by individual ‘bad’ employers but fails to recognise the wide-scale structural discrimination that exists.

“Class actions should be seriously considered by the Government as a way of reducing the burden on victims and the tribunals.

“Ministers should also consider our proposal for compulsory equal pay audits across the board to bring discrimination to light. These could be followed with a ‘protected period’ for employers to put their house in order before a lengthy tribunal process becomes necessary.”

Note: more information on Trevor Phillips’s comments is on the Commission’s website.

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