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“Any good leader knows that if you want to solve a problem, you first have to know you have one. But when it comes to equal pay for equal work, even the best corporate citizens are often unaware that they may have a pay gap problem.

In our 21st Century economy, businesses have more tools at their disposal than ever before to better understand our world – to analyze markets, recognize patterns, and make changes when the data prove problems exist.” – Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to Barack Obama

In South Africa, there’s now free access to the CCMA for pay discrimination cases. The Labour Court ruled this year that even collective pay discrimination cases could be referred to the CCMA, with 632 Famous Brands employees referring a combined dispute.

The CCMA had it’s budget increased by R60m last year to deal with the anticipated increase in referrals.

The quote above sums it up well – to deal with pay discrimination (before it becomes a reputation issue) you first have to know you have a problem.

And the reason why so few companies are doing something is the same as the solution. To adequately diagnose pay discrimination, we need to take into account all the factors that the Employment Equity Act allows (and disallows) as reasons for pay variation:

Race, gender, grade, age, length of service, time in role, performance scores, market information, compa-ratios, marital status, among other factors.

Many employers, faced with so many variables, don’t quite know where to start. Or they focus on one or two with the knowledge that their approach is not integrated.

The solutions lies in the use of BI and analytics within HR and Reward. By integrating the multiple dimensions that influence pay into something simple and visual, we can begin to see the patterns and problems, and drill down to understand and resolve them. And being able to see them ourselves, we are also able to make them visible to others – persuading other decision-makers of the need for action.

You might also be interested in reading my articles about why Analytics will ensure the survival of the Reward function or why so few HR leaders have adopted analytics, or My Three Favourite Talent Visuals.

I’m an accredited Master Reward Specialist with a passion for Business Intelligence, Analytics and the benefits that this combination brings to Reward. Feel free to get in touch with me to talk about this, or to have me talk to your leadership team.