“We need Equal Pay legislation that is consistent with the recent Court of Appeal Judgement on the Terranova Case and the agreed Joint Working Group recommended principles. This Exposure Bill falls short in crucial areas,” said CTU President Richard Wagstaff today following the release of the Government’s Equal Pay Exposure Draft Bill.
“Significant parts of the Exposure Draft need to be fundamentally reworked”.
“The Bill sets out a limiting mechanism for choosing and agreeing comparators for claimants which is at odds with the existing Equal Pay Act, the recent Court of Appeal Judgement and is impractical, ultimately impeding women making claims for equal pay.”
“Comparators are a crucial part of assessing whether pay inequity exists. Women need to be able to select the most appropriate comparator for their particular role regardless of who their employer happens to be.”
“The fairest outcome is for the best and most relevant comparator to be selected in each circumstance. This Bill as it stands will trap many low paid women on discriminatory wage rates.”
“The recent Care and Support negotiations would not have proceeded successfully in the same manner if this exposure draft had been used.”
Richard Wagstaff said that with the proposed Bill extinguishing a right to backpay, it was of fundamental importance to make sure there were no barriers put in the way of proper and full consideration of pay equity claims.
“While there are other more minor issues to address, the issue of comparators is fundamental and substantial and needs fixing,” he said.