December 7, 2021

How to ensure equal pay for equal work

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Equal pay for equal work is a hot topic that will be visiting your company soon — if it hasn’t already. Remedying compensation inequality is the right thing to do, of course, but it also helps shield your organization from litigation, increases workplace productivity and helps you to lure top talent. Are you ready? Here’s how to ensure equal pay for equal work.

The Issue

It’s a persistent, stubborn and indicting stat: women make 82 cents for each dollar men do. But the good news is that you, as a hiring or human resource manager, can do something about pay parity at your organization. 

Fix Your House Before Hiring

You don’t want a great new hire to start work in an environment that hasn’t been vetted for gender or race pay equity. So, the first thing you should do is put the range of what any position pays right on the job posting. So that what you pay the new person is in line with how you’re compensating current employees, set the range accordingly. Posting the salary will also weed out those who are seeking a different amount.     

When interviewing, here’s what you don’t want to do: ask about previous pay. First off, you may be perpetuating pay inequity by basing your salary offer on what may have been an unfair salary to begin with. The problem has been so pervasive that several states have made it illegal for employers to make such inquiries.

Establishing a salary range for all to see will allow you and the prospect to negotiate a pay package that makes sense to all while still factoring in the candidate’s experience.

When it Comes to Pay Reviews, Be Vigilant

At least once annually, your company should conduct a pay equity check. See whether there have been changes in the local cost of living or in competitive salary ranges for your employees.

When you earmark time to talk with your workers about current and aspirational salary, employees will enter negotiations empowered. What’s more, you’ll be ready because you know how much flexibility you have in terms of pay. 

Do Not Intertwine Pay and Performance Reviews

Conducting these separately will help promote workforce pay equity by establishing a time certain when employees may get a raise. Plus, all workers will be able to talk pay during compensation review timeframes, giving them the same annual opportunity. Further, employees will also be motivated to turn out great work performances in anticipation of a promotion.

Be Open with Salary Ranges

Disclosing salary ranges for different positions helps to diminish pay gaps by, for one thing, eliminating the need to inquire about salary history. Such questions can serve to perpetuate pay inequalities because the job candidate may not have been paid appropriately from the get-go. 

Look Out for Your Workers

Managers that truly seek to boost in-house pay equity should be willing to go to bat for their workforce to achieve it. If you’re aware that an employee should be earning more, get them to research what they likely should be making so that the issue can be properly broached during the next review discussion. This approach has the extra benefit of having the employee learn more about their corporate value based on their experience and performance, while letting them know it’s perfectly fine to discuss pay.

Now that you know more about how to ensure equal pay for equal work, won’t you get started on it today? You – and your workforce, and future hires – will be so glad you did.

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