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Equality Bill

Part of the debate – in a Public Bill Committee at 11:31 am on 9th June 2009.

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Katja Hall: We know that that is not the main cause based on the women and work commission report and other research. Nobody has been able to establish that it is a factor, or how much of a factor it is. I am not aware of any research suggesting that that is the main cause of the pay gap.

There is a place for pay audits; many companies choose to do them on a voluntary basis. We survey our members on the issue every year, and we know that more than 50 per cent. of large firms now undertake voluntary pay audits, and they do so as part of their package on diversity in the workplace. Many of them find that useful. However, we also know that, in the vast majority of cases, when they find a pay gap, it is not between men and women doing the same job. We need to be realistic here: the audits are expensive, time consuming and bureaucratic. For a company with limited resources, there are often better and more effective ways of spending money than on a pay audit.