HC Deb 17 December 2001 vol 377 cc120-2W
Barbara Follett

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what action she has taken to encourage business associations to produce guidance on voluntary equal pay reviews. [15728]

Ms Hewitt

The official guidance on voluntary equal pay reviews is that published by the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) as a statutory code of practice on equal pay in 1997. The Government have recently provided the EOC with an extra £100,000 to produce a model for voluntary pay reviews. It will offer a technical example for employers in how to review the pay of their male and female employees and will soon be piloted so that it is shown to be workable for business and effective for women.

The Employers' Association for Local Government has produced equality guidance which includes advice on pay reviews. The Chartered Institute of Personnel Development has also produced an "Equal Pay Guide" for its members who are generally personnel managers.

The Government have recently announced the annual Castle Awards for employers to encourage them to undertake and act on voluntary pay reviews. They will recognise employers' excellence in addressing equal pay and related issues. Earlier this year the Government appointed 'Fair Pay Champions' from business, the public sector and trade unions to help with our drive towards achieving fair pay for women through promoting and sharing good practice and heightening awareness of employment rights and responsibilities.