Equality Bill an opportunity for recruiters
Equality Bill an opportunity for recruiters to help, says REC
The Equalities Bill published yesterday will give recruiters an opportunity to provide practical guidance to businesses who may be finding it hard to keep abreast of new regulations in these difficult times.
Responding to the Bill, the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), the trade body representing the UKs private recruitment industry, says that while it will encourage employers to diversify their workforces, it will also give recruiters a key role.
Sarah Gordon, Chair of the RECs Diversity Forum, says: Recruiters can be a vital component in helping employers especially SMEs who often struggle to keep up with employment legislation. Many recruiters are already monitoring their candidates and are providing value to their clients. Recruiters are ideally situated to provide a helping hand. The proposals should help to promote a positive attitude on the part of employers towards diversity.
On a controversial note, the Bill will include provisions that require companies to compulsorily publish the differences in pay between their male and female staff.
Commenting on this, Kevin Green, the RECs Chief Executive said: We believe this element of the Bill is not the answer to the gender pay gap. Many employers have too few women in higher paid roles and by being forced to publish their current details, they may deter the type of applicants they would want to encourage to apply. This could compound the issue rather than help improve it.
Kevin Green added: There are also some sectors that have been traditionally dominated by men, such as engineering, which are now taking positive steps to diversify their workforce by encouraging more women to enter the profession. However, since there will be on junior pay scales, the difference in gender pay will be misleading. The Government needs to recognise that diversifying workforces takes time.
The REC holds a quarterly Diversity Forum and will be discussing the Equalities Bill and the gender pay gap next month. For further details on the RECs diversity initiatives, go to www.rec.uk.com/diversity.