Last month we discussed: Applying for a Job. This month we will discuss Roberta Cava’s information about: Equal pay for work of equal value excerpts from her book: Human Resources at its Best.
EQUAL PAY FOR
WORK OF EQUAL VALUE
much effort has been put into dealing with gender bias in job evaluation
systems. Many countries have found that legislative rulings were
necessary to eliminate gender bias from the job evaluation process. Before this
was implemented many women found:
Gender-stereotyping which could result in the
under-evaluation of female-held positions.
Many evaluations of female-held positions
underestimated the importance of the skills and qualities required.
In Canada, the following laws have been in place for decades,
but there are still serious discrepancies between the salaries of men and women
doing essentially the same work in Australia. Here are some of the issues that
are laws in Canada:
Equal pay for work of equal value: This compares cooks vs. chefs;
cleaning ladies vs. janitors for instance and ensures that if men and women are
doing essentially the same kind of task – regardless of the title – they must
be paid the same.
This relates to anti-discrimination and equal opportunity
laws that protect minorities from discrimination.
a system that determines the value of the position as it compares to that of
others in the company. It compares ‘apples against oranges’ or ‘accountants, engineers,
production people, caretakers, personal assistants and managers’ against the
value of all other employees in the company. Australia has yet to implement
Pay equity uses job descriptions to see if the positions have
been evaluated properly and given equitable salary ranges to meet the
requirements of the position. It examines such things as working conditions,
knowledge, experience, education etc. and gives points for each of these. This
way companies can compare all positions in their company. All companies are
encouraged to be ready for these changes. Under pay equity laws, companies are
required to have an evaluation system that’s used to evaluate even the highest
position in the company against the value of the lowest and determine salary
ranges to suit the work performed.
To make pay equity work, all job descriptions require that
all tasks are described clearly (i.e. detailed, quantitative and measurable). To
accomplish this, standards of performance will be required to explain how each
task is performed.
The first step in evaluating a position is the preparation of
an accurate up-to-date job description which clearly states the responsibility,
authority and qualifications required to fill the position. Next the position
is graded against an established rating which determines the value of each
factor as it relates to the needs of the position. Points are allotted to the
above grades and the total point score of the position determines the salary
range for the position. This way, accountants can be compared with engineers, and
secretaries with custodians.
There are many forms of classification systems. The most
popular in North America are the Hay and Kellogg systems. These are systems
where every position in a company can be compared against a factor system that
ensures fair payment for work performed (pay equity).
These systems evaluate (with points) the comparative worth of
every position. Each factor determines the level required for each position to
be effectively filled by an employee. It does not consider gender, race or
colour – just the requirements of the position. These factors evaluate such things
4. Initiative (Independent action)
1. Errors (consequences of)
2. Contacts (level)
3. Supervision –
4. Supervision – Scope (how many)
1. Physical Demands
2. Working Conditions
factors are determined and the value of the contribution made by the employee
in the position is determined, a salary range is chosen for the position.
There are several things involved in choosing a salary for a
position. It is the position that gets the salary – not the person performing
the tasks and disregards, the age race and gender of the person. Once a
position is given a value it is given a salary range. A beginner would start at
the lower level and as the person gained more experience, they would move up
the ladder. Under no circumstances would they be paid more than the top salary
of the position. If they wished to move up in the company, they would need to
apply for a more senior position.
To this date, not much has changed in many Australian companies.
You’ll find that only a small segment of employees (the middle group) has been
evaluated fairly by their company’s evaluation system. If lower and upper level
positions were examined, it has often been found that incorrect salary ranges
have been allotted. In most cases, lower-level employees were underpaid – and
upper-level staff were grossly overpaid! Some companies do not even have formal
salary ranges for their positions.
If these old
job-classification systems had been implemented correctly, women working in
personal assistant and clerical positions would have been paid as much as technicians,
because of their specialised knowledge and skills. Many support positions
require the same length of training and have similar working conditions as
technologists’ jobs. However, this is not reflected in the salary structures
for the two types of jobs.
Roberta Cava has over three decades of Human
Resources experience and has been Head of Human Resources for firms in Canada
and Australia. She is a best-selling author of non-fiction books. In total she
has written 51 books; seven of them fiction and 44 nonfiction.
Roberta lives on the Gold Coast of Queensland in Australia.
To order her books:
Go to amazon.com then click ‘Books’ and under ‘search’ put Roberta Cava (which will bring up all of her books).
To contact Roberta or Cava Consulting, please
send an e-mail to: