Not everyone is able to claim the $10M awarded to Hollywood actress, Charlize Theron, in her equal pay claim. But there have been some substantial claims on this side of the Atlantic of which we might take note. North Cumbria acute NHS trust reputedly paid out £300M in settling an equal pay claim and in March this year North Lanarkshire Council paid out £70M.
Hereto private companies have been relatively immune but, following multi-claimant actions against major UK supermarkets there are no-win no fee companies out there gathering claimants by the thousand. After the huge fall-off in unfair dismissal claims, this may be their new field of operation.
Job evaluation and an equal pay audit are suitable steps to remedying any risk and providing a defence to any claims. For a small company they might represent a sledge hammer and the proverbial nut. Instead checking your salary levels against market rates provides an economical and practical solution to defending any claims. Moreover it can be carried out discretely so as not to prompt any spurious ones. It also provides an non-gender specific opportunity for correcting any discrepancies. There are lots of other spin-offs from checking salary levels, such as getting your recruitment right, retaining key staff, etc..
Employer Solutions has access to data on hundreds of salaries in your area. Contact us for a confidential discussion.