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New Survey Finds 51% Of Organisations Have Never Completed An Equal Pay Audit  


A new pulse survey by reward consultancy 3R Strategy, which investigates pay budgets, pay transparency, and equal pay efforts across organisations, has revealed that over half of organisations have never completed an equal pay audit. 


The survey shows the actual UK pay budgets for 2023 and how the continued high inflation and cost of living pressures have influenced pay budgets for organisations. Using data collected in March 2023, HR professionals answered various questions relating to pay budgets and current pay and reward topics. This included cost-of-living assistance, flexible working, and pay transparency.


One of the key findings was the lack of businesses completing equal pay audits. Respondents were asked when their organisation conducted its last equal pay audit. The survey found that 51% of organisations have never completed an equal pay audit.


36% answered that they had completed one in the last year, and 7% within the last three years. 6% had not completed an equal pay audit in the last three years. 


Founder and manager of 3R Strategy, Rameez Kaleem, found these figures quite concerning, given that ensuring equal pay for equal work is a legal requirement under the Equality Act 2010. 

‘’Equal pay audits are not compulsory, but we advise that organisations carry one out at least every three years. An equal pay audit allows organisations to identify, explain and eliminate pay inequalities,” he commented.


He suggested that businesses start by conducting an equal pay audit and then ensuring that any discrepancies are reviewed and addressed in the fairest way possible.

The pulse survey also provided insights into the following key issues:


Pay Transparency

Only 12% of survey participants said they publish salary ranges for employees to see. Of those who said they do not publish salary ranges, 27% said their framework was under development, 15% were concerned about potential reactions, and 11% said it was not a priority.


Other reasons included: training/effective communication was needed before sharing (16%), Not enough confidence that current ranges are right for the organisation(11%), Concerned about equal pay (10%), and No salary ranges (17%). 


Organisations with a career framework/job architecture

A complete job architecture gives organisations a set of bands designed to ensure fairness and consistency in their approach to pay, bonuses, and benefits. Of the respondents, 49% of organisations had no framework. 14% had a framework but no definitions, and 37% had both a framework and definitions.


The full survey can be found on the 3R Strategy website here. This report builds upon their global salary planning survey published in September 2022, which includes data relating to forecasted pay review budgets for 2023.  The company’s following global salary planning survey will be published in October 2023. 


About 3R Strategy

3R Strategy is an independent reward consultancy dedicated to helping organisations build a culture of trust through pay transparency.  It was founded by Rameez Kaleem after he graduated in economics from University College London.  Rameez pursued various in-house reward consultancy roles before leaving to set up 3R Strategy and support organisations on their journey towards pay transparency. 3R Strategy supports organisations with pay and reward strategy, job evaluation and architecture, pay structure design, equal pay, and much more.