A legislative update in 2013 allowed tribunals to be given the power to order an equal pay audit when the employer committed an equal pay breach.
From 1 October 2014, if a tribunal claim is submitted and the tribunal finds that equal pay laws have been breached, it will be obliged to order an equal pay audit unless an exception applies. An exception will be allowed where the tribunal is satisfied that:
- the employer has completed an audit in the preceding three years that meets the relevant requirements in the new Regulations;
- it is clear without an audit whether or not any action is required to avoid equal pay breaches occurring or continuing;
- the breach that the tribunal has found gives no reason to think that there may be other breaches; or
- the disadvantages of an audit would outweigh its benefits.
Further, a tribunal will not be able to order an equal pay audit if the employer has fewer than 10 employees when the tribunal gives its judgment or is less than 12 months old when the complaint is made.