The Guardian picks up on a claim being made by a law firm. A claim that should be looked at with a certain jaundice in the eye anyway. For the law firm in question runs a division which fights cases about equal pay matters. This is thus an advertisement for the services of the law firm.
Given that, the claim is that there are 29,000 claims a year for violations of the equal pay strictures:
A consistently high number of workers are alleging that their employers are illegally paying them less than colleagues in similar roles, according to research released to mark the 50th anniversary of the Equal Pay Act.
Well, that’s the thing to be argued, is there a high number of such complaints?
Since the 2007-08 financial year, employment tribunals in England and Wales have received more than 368,000 complaints relating to equal pay, an average of almost 29,000 complaints a year.
Note that this is complaints. You may, clearly enough, complain about anything at all. The more useful discussion is around how many people are able to show that the equal pay provisions are being abused?
In the vast majority of cases, the equal pay claims will not reach a full hearing. This can be due to the claim being struck out at an early stage (19 per cent of cases), because the parties have achieved Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) conciliated settlements (18 per cent of cases) or because the case has been withdrawn (61 per cent of cases).
Tot that up and we find that only 2% of the complaints have enough juice in them to get to a full hearing – let alone prove the claim when the evidence is properly examined.
There are some 30 million people in work in the UK at present – well, would be if it weren’t a bank holiday, nor the middle of the coronavirus season. Some 580 of those each year have a strong enough claim that the equal pay rules are being breached. That’s 0.0019% can even mount a substantial enough case that it needs to be taken seriously.
Incidence of 0.0019% is very close to what we’d normally state as being solved. Not entirely you understand, as it’s about the murder rate among the general population, there or thereabouts at least and we don’t say that murder is solved. But we do say that it’s not a social phenomenon that happens to any large portion of us, nor something that the average person need be afeared of.
The truth about the gender pay gap being that equal pay for directly equal work is near a 100% reality, equal pay for work that can be claimed to be equal, as above, is pretty much done and dusted. The difference in incomes comes from the manner that there is a difference in behaviour regarding work across the genders.