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Are you concerned that you're not receiving equal pay?

Although equal pay legislation has been in force now for more than forty years, pay discrimination in work continues to be a major problem in society.

It is estimated that men in employment earn at least 20% more than their female counterparts. It is clear therefore that even well into the 21st century that equal pay (or more accurately unequal pay) is an issue that is not going away.

It is unlawful for an employer to pay employees of the opposite sex different rates of pay if the two jobs are considered to be:

  • The same or broadly similar (referred to as “like work” in the legislation)
  • The same grade following a job evaluation scheme (“work rated as equivalent”)
  • Different but of equal value as far as the demands of the job are concerned (“work of equal value”)

The person you compare yourself to is known as a comparator. You can have a single comparator or as many comparators as you like, provided they are paid more than you, although more comparators usually means a longer and more expensive process.

You are also entitled to compare yourself to a predecessor. Once you have identified a comparator who earns more than you and falls into the 3 categories above, it will then be for your employer to explain why there is a difference in pay.

How do I claim Equal Pay?

If you suspect that there is a member of the opposite sex being paid more than you for work that is equal to yours, you are entitled to lodge a claim at the employment tribunal. If successful, you will be entitled to up to six years back pay and to have your contract modified to ensure you receive the higher rate of pay going forward.

Next steps

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