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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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Dianah Worman: We can go almost full circle because the process is back-loaded; it is a technique. Employers need to understand why it makes sense to look at the concept of total reward and how to better manage the pay bill. In that way they signal the fact that they are valuing their employees. Looking at flexible working and part-time working may, as a result of doing an audit, expose the fact that they are not valuing those people in the right way—they are not accessing bonuses and so on and so forth—and they are getting disparities. It would be much more effective to front-load and educate employers, give them the good practice guidance and build on the expertise we have had over the years, but expand that through the provisions that are allowed by the EHRC taking forward the guidance. That is critical. You cannot do this stuff unless you understand what to do. Simply being told that you have to do it in law is not the answer. I am afraid that we have to spend a lot more time investing in helping people to understand why the proposal is sensible. That is why it makes sense to push the concept of the business case for diversity so people get the message and their mindsets switch and they begin to drive the agenda in a much more proactive way.