Saturday, October 31, 2020
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Reader’s Comment: Equal pay laws create shortages in key jobs

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In response to Chris McGovern: Alice in Wonderland education policy from HMG. Discriminate against the best educated, Phil R wrote:

The real problem is actually equality itself. There is a crisis in the number of engineers in this country because they are underpaid. Why are they underpaid? Because in the main engineers are men. The Equal Pay Act means that an “equivalent” job in say female-dominated HR must be paid the same, even though there is no shortage of applicants.

A UK firm cannot raise the salaries of engineers without raising the salaries of a whole load of other jobs along with it. This makes it prohibitively expensive to raise the salaries of the engineers because “similar” female jobs would also have to be raised or fall foul of the legislation on equal pay. Hence we are stuck with low pay for engineers etc. and a poor pool of applicants because there is no incentive to train as an engineer if you will earn the same as a “similar” job in HR.

Equality is the root of most of our problems, because people are not equal.
Equality is the root of most of our problems, because people are not equal.

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