Watchdog targets pay parity

PUBLISHED : Monday, 24 September, 2001, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 24 September, 2001, 12:00am

The anti-bias watchdog is to review more than 230 types of government and Hospital Authority jobs to determine whether men and women are paid the same for performing similar tasks.

The Equal Opportunities Commission has invited Carole Cameron, a job evaluation specialist with the Canadian Union of Public Employees, to carry out the two-month study.

Jobs under review range from low-level to senior positions, and criteria include physical demands, accountability, levels of responsibility and leadership in each position.

Jobs dominated by one or the other sex and those that involve a range of salaries will be particularly targeted for study.

'In pay equality, many aspects [are involved] like responsibility, physical effort - as in how much weight you need to lift in your job - and work conditions,' Ms Cameron said. 'The preliminary study is to identify whether there is an issue here.'

A pilot study has already been launched at the Alice Ho Miu Ling Nethersole Hospital in Tai Po, where jobs being examined range from health assistants to nurses and ward managers. Workers were interviewed and questionnaires filled out but the data was still being analysed.

The study of government positions is expected to cover 164 job types dominated by men and 26 taken up mostly by women, while the study of the Hospital Authority will look at 83 job types dominated by men and 74 by women.

Ms Cameron said the findings could have a considerable impact on the Government's pay structure. She said that in Canada, some jobs held mostly by women had had wage rises of between 10 and 20 per cent since the 1980s after similar equality reviews.