Equality Bill — New Clause 3 — Mandatory pay audits — 2 Dec 2009 at 18:00
'(1) Within six months of the day on which this Act is passed the Secretary of State shall by regulations require designated employers to conduct a pay audit and to publish information relating to the pay of its employees for the purpose of showing whether there are differences in the pay of male and female employees.
(2) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1) regulations made pursuant to subsection (1) shall require designated employers to publish information including-
(a) the average hourly pay of male workers and the average hourly pay of female workers within its employment;
(b) in respect of each role within the organisation-
(i) the average pay awarded to workers engaged in the role;
(ii) the percentage of men and women engaged in that role;
(iii) the gap, if any, between the average hourly pay of male and female employees in that role; and
(iv) the average length of service of men and women engaged in that role; and
(c) information identifying-
(i) any description of activities carried out in the course of employment with the employer by any group of workers who are wholly or mainly women;
(ii) any descriptions of activities carried out in the course of employment with the employer by any group of workers who are wholly or mainly men;
(iii) the relative values of the descriptions of activities falling within paragraph (c)(i) and paragraph (c)(ii); and
(iv) in relation to descriptions of activities within subsection (c)(i) and subsection (c)(ii) which are judged to be of equal value to each other, the average hourly pay of male workers and average hourly pay of female workers carrying on those activities.
(3) For the purposes of this section, "pay" means the ordinary basic or minimum wage or salary and any other consideration, whether in cash or kind, which the worker receives directly or indirectly, in respect of his employment, from his employer and includes the cost to the employer of-
(a) any pensions contributions paid by the employer in respect of the worker,
(b) any bonus or other performance related or incentive payment, and
(c) any discretionary benefit granted to a worker in connection with his or her employment.
(4) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1) regulations made pursuant to that subsection shall specify the process which an employer must follow in conducting a pay audit, the form in which the information must be published, and the degree and means of publicity to be made.
(5) In making regulations pursuant to subsection (1) the Secretary of State shall adopt best practice for promoting awareness of the nature and causes of any pay gap between persons of different genders as set out by the International Labour Organisation from time to time.
(6) The Secretary of State shall consult with the Equality and Human Rights Commission as to how to ensure that the regulations shall reflect best practice prior to the making of the first regulations and no less than every five years thereafter and shall amend the regulations as necessary to ensure that best practice is maintained.
(7) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1) regulations made pursuant to that subsection shall provide that where an employer fails to publish information as required by regulations made pursuant to subsection (1) an employer shall not be entitled to submit a material factor defence in accordance with section 66 in relation to any period for which they are in breach of their obligations under those regulations.
(8) Where the information published by an employer reveals that there is a difference in the average pay of men and women doing relevant types of work as set out in section 61, then in any proceedings to enforce a sex equality rule or sex equality clause it shall be presumed that there is such a breach unless the employer can show a material factor defence.
(9) Regulations made pursuant to subsection (1) may make provision for a failure to comply with the regulations-
(a) to be an offence punishable on summary conviction by a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale;
(b) to be enforced, otherwise than as an offence, by such means as is prescribed.
(10) The reference to a failure to comply with the regulations includes a reference to a failure by a person acting on behalf of an employer.
(11) Regulations made pursuant to subsection (1) shall provide that an employer must conduct a pay audit and publish information relating to the pay of its employees within six months of the coming into force of the regulations.
(12) Regulations made pursuant to subsection (1) shall provide that where an employer (A) is able to determine the terms and conditions of employment as between another employer (B) and its employees, A shall publish the information that B would otherwise be required to publish in a way which is consolidated with the information for all other employees of A whose terms and conditions A may determine, and where A publishes consolidated information B shall not be in breach of those regulations if it does not publish any information.
(13) A designated employer means an employer who has more than 100 employees.
(14) Regulations made pursuant to subsection (1) shall require designated employers publishing information in relation to the average hourly pay of employees to specify how much of the hourly rate constitutes ordinary basic or minimum wage or salary and how much, if any, constitutes other consideration and to specify the types and amounts of any such other consideration.'.- (Lynne Featherstone.)
Question put, That the clause be added to the Bill:-
The House divided: Ayes 77, Noes 427.
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