Auditors in equal pay warning

By Laura Sharman | 07 September 2017

Councils in Scotland have spent £750m settling equal pay claims since 2004, with 27,000 claims still outstanding, a public spending watchdog has revealed.

The Accounts Commission found many councils underestimated the challenges involved in implementing the Single Status Agreement (SSA), with 31 out of 32 authorities missing the deadline for implementation.

Its report showed 70,000 equal pay claims have been lodged against councils since 2004, at a cost of around £750m.

The report added that there are nearly 27,000 outstanding claims and new ones could still be made.

Commission member, Pauline Weetman, said: ‘Equal pay is both an incredibly important issue and a legal duty for Scotland’s councils, to eliminate decades of inequality.

‘However, implementation of equal pay has been a substantial challenge for local government.

‘Councils need to be confident that pay equality is embedded in how they operate.

‘It’s critical that officers ensure that they’re doing all they can to fulfil their duties in relation to equal pay and publicly report this work, and that elected members continue to scrutinise and challenge their progress.’

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Finance Audit Scotland Equal pay