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Pay Audits

Volume 407: debated on Thursday 19 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what progress has been made on completing a pay audit in his Department and its non-departmental public bodies to measure any disadvantage in terms of remuneration for (a) women, (b) ethnic minorities and (c) people with disabilities; and if he will publish the results of such an audit. [117432]

An Equal Pay Review has been carried out by the Northern Ireland Office in respect of the Department and its agencies in order to identify any gender pay gap. The findings are currently being considered by the unions and we aim to finalise it in July 2003.The Equal Pay Review only examined gender pay. In parallel with this Review, we separately examined performance ratings of women, ethnic minorities and people with disabilities to measure any disadvantage in the operation of the performance management system.A copy of the action plan will be placed in the Library of the House once internal discussions are complete.The 11 Departments within the Northern Ireland Administration carried out a review of its pay and grading arrangements in 1998, which examined the gender gap between administrative grades, that are majority female, and professional and technical grades, that are predominantly male. We are in the process of implementing a programme of work arising from the review and this will be complete by April 2004. The need for a further equal pay audit that will also include other groups covered by section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 is currently under consideration.