Employers are shying away from equal pay audits to find out it female workers are being paid less than their male colleagues.
Research carried out by Industrial Relations Services of 103 private sector employers shows that parity in pay is a long way off, with men being paid an average of 12.6% more than women.
The survey, Equal pay audits in the private sector, found that where audits have been carried out, two thirds of companies found than men were being paid more than women.
Yet even when employers were aware of gender gaps in pay, they did little or nothing to address it.
The research also found that the majority of companies who made an effort on equal pay have done so informally.