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back to article Equality Bill U-turn could damage businesses, warns expert

The Government has published its proposals for new equality legislation and one employment law expert has warned that a policy U-turn could leave companies exposed to a deluge of equal pay claims. The just-published Equality Bill gives the Government the power to introduce regulations forcing companies of more than 250 employees …

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huh?

"The Bill also contains provisions to permit, though not compel, employers to employ people from disadvantaged or under-represented groups, but only if they are an equally good candidate for a job as someone not from that group."

are you saying up until now, if there were 2 equally good candidates we were forced to take in someone from an _over_ represented group? I don't think so...

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More powers to make our lives difficult

More privileges for special-interest groups, more opportunities to harass ordinary people... what happened to freedom in this country?

As for "Sir" Trevor Phillips, perhaps he can name any other country in the world that would give the endless rewards and opportunities to lecture and harass ordinary people to an immigrant like himself.

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Stop

Sexist Rubbish

"The gender pay gap can be misinterpreted. It does not compare men and women doing the same job. It reflects the fact that fewer women have higher paid jobs and the way to address that is not by comparing misleading average pay rates, but by improving opportunities for women via better childcare and careers advice," she said.

It is the womans job to look after children is it? How about making it easier for dad's to do childcare as that is also their role as parent. She is basically saying that a woman's role is to bring up the children. Once a child is weaned off breast milk strict equal parenting can be begin. Before that the man can do other stuff to help out while the woman feeds.

Allowing maternity leave to be given to the father would be a start as well as giving parents more flexible working hours - not insisting on 37.5 weeks for example.

My employer is very good. I have a very strong relationship with both of my children. Something that is a father's right.

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so what happens where...

men are paid LESS than women on average? There will be companies where that will be the case. Can the men go running to a tribunal, or will it be hailed as "veritable proof of the successnessity of the integration of synergy in a blue-sky live environment"?*

(I've just been speaking to a project manager type. does it show?)

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Those who have done nothing wrong...

Presumably to avoid having equal pay problems all a company has to do is be paying women equally for equivalent jobs?

That doesn't seem like a ridiculously arduous thing to ask for.

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Gah!

I see Labour is going back to its industrial roots. All jobs are like those on an assembly-line. There is no need for different skill levels within a team where all of the members do broadly the same work. It isn't enough to pay according to skill or usefulness, the shop floor steward NuLab says you must be paid according to official title and grade.

Everybody Out!

Icon: if the government wants gesture politics, I'll give 'em gesture politics

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Anonymous Coward

What's the beef about?

"Titchmarsh said that the information published by companies could well lead to a raft of equal pay claims." - so it bloody well SHOULD. Equal work, equal pay.

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so

"The Bill also contains provisions to permit, though not compel, employers to employ people from disadvantaged or under-represented groups, but only if they are an equally good candidate for a job as someone not from that group."

If you have 2 equally good candidates for the job, this bill is proposing permitting using gender/disabilities/ethnicities as a way to distinguish between them. In what way does this reduce inequality? it is, however, inequality which favours minorities, so it must be ok.

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Anonymous Coward

Amusing note

I've worked for a company before (no names) where our senior departmental manager was a guy. All the other departmental managers (his underlings) were women about 10 years younger than him.

The reason? He fancied them. They were all absolutely crap managers and mostly didn't know what they were doing.

As a result, they knew they couldn't leave and get a job elsewhere - they'd instantly be recognised for the bimbos that they were. The few that did leave never left for a better job, they left to have kids (or because their partner had a new job far away)

It created a lot of ill feeling amongst the staff that good-looking but poorly-performing women were always the ones that got the promotions. I left the company once I realised (I wasn't the only one to leave either!) I walked into a job that paid £10000 a year more and which was based upon performance, not perfume.

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This isn't right, is it?

I mean it's nowhere near pro-feminist enough for the government that brought us "equality" programmes specifically for women.

Anyway, couldn't it just highlight stuff like psychological differences between men and women- it's the same sort of psychology in either gender that gets you into a high position. So the more assertive, aggressive- but controlled- types would get to the higher positions and the others would get to a level at which they "got stuck". Or the people better at networking could be more likely to be promoted on the grounds that they had a wider range of contacts from which to glean useful information.

How about they get information from, say, the Inland Revenue on who's being paid what. Then run that through Excel to generate a graph of pay versus, say, age. Or gender. Or skin colour. Then start looking at people's psychologies and graph the various psych types against pay- I'd bet actual money that you'd find a stronger correlation between psych types and pay than gender and pay. And then a secondary correlation between gender and psych type that gives the impression of some sort of huge inequality.

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Happy

I <3 the CBI

"The gender pay gap can be misinterpreted. ... It reflects the fact that fewer women have higher paid jobs"

And why might that be? Clearly they are biologically unsuited to long lunches, trips abroad and conning pension increases out of shareholders.

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Anonymous Coward

@Michelle Knight

As long as it is Equal work, equal pay and not as I suspect it will turn out as equal job title, equal pay.

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RW
Linux

What I expect

"We can't generate those statistics; we don't record the sex of our employees as an anti-discrimination measure, you see."

Or just publish entirely fictitious figures. Who's to know otherwise? And if someone twigs "Oh, gee, the DBA must have made a mistake preparing those!"

I'm all for a level playing field but NuLabour's petulant insistence that women are poor persecuted dears needing Big Sister's assistance in all matters has gotten more than a little tiresome. [I must add that the same nonsense exists here in Canada; all sorts of "Ministries for Women and Children", but no "Ministry for Men."]

Give me a penguin any day: it's hard to tell what sex they are. (Is Tux a female, perhaps? But if so, she never seems to lay any eggs.)

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Flame

heavily criticised by groups representing employers

Small wonder, that. Get with the 21st century, chauvinist pigs. Nobody has said that there's no room for performance pay when someone clearly does more and better work. But all other things being equal; the female of the species is still getting screwed at the job and it isn't because she's wanting it.

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I have a brilliant idea for becoming rich

1) Start a company that employs nothing but women who apart from not being men are just as good and do as a good a job as men.

2) Pay them less than men because, well apparently it's not that hard to do, and boy will it reduce my operating costs.

3) Undercut all my stupid competitors who all employ men and for some reason pay them more, even though they could just employ women who do just as a good a job as men but don't cost as much.

4) Massive profit to me!!!!

Golly, it all seems so simple! I wonder why nobody has thought of it before?

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It doesn't add up

OK, take an example. 10 people, do the same job, a complex job requiring previous skills and training. 5 are men, 5 are women.

One of them (a male) is highly experienced and negotiated a £5k higher wage. Women find out about this. All demand the higher wage. Soooo, we have one highly experienced man on a higher wage, 5 women get the wage whether deserved or not, and four men who are discriminated against because of their sex on a lower wage. And possibly a bankrupted company who can't afford another £25k a year wage bill.

Nice one Government. Do you want any small businesses to succeed?

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