Equal Pay

Despite Equal Pay provisions which have been around since 1970, there are still tens of thousands of Equal Pay Claims made each year.

Danielle Wright

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I am being paid less than my male colleagues. Can I do something about it?

If you wish to bring a claim under the equal pay provisions you must be able to compare yourself to a colleague of the opposite sex whose terms and conditions are different to your own. Both men and women can bring claims for equal pay.

A comparator must be someone who is either doing:

  • 'Like work' - work of the same or a broadly similar nature.
  • 'Work rated as equivalent' - where a study or job evaluation scheme rates certain jobs as being equivalent.
  • 'Work of equal value' - where the effort, skill and demand required of those doing different jobs is the same. These claims are the most difficult to assess. In the absence of a job evaluation scheme, the Tribunal has to decide whether the claimant's and the comparator's jobs are of equal value, taking into account the nature of the work, the skills necessary to do it and the level of decision-making attached to the job. Normally, Tribunals ask an independent expert to do an evaluation of the two jobs. This is similar to a job evaluation scheme done by an employer but the independent expert only looks at the job of the claimant and the comparator.

You cannot be stopped from discussing with your colleagues or union the differences in pay. The law also prevents the use of "gagging clauses" in your contract. However, your employer can stipulate that you keep pay rates confidential from certain groups outside the workplace - like competitors. If your employer takes action against you for disclosing or receiving information, you may be able to claim victimisation. If you believe you are not receiving equal pay, you can write to their employer asking for information to establish whether or not there really is a difference in pay and, if so, what the reasons for it are.

An employee who believes they are not receiving equal pay can write to their employer asking for information to establish whether or not there is a difference in pay and, if so, what the reasons are for it.

If you think you are being paid less than a colleague because of your sex, you can enforce your rights at work or bring a claim for equal pay in a Tribunal. You can do this whilst still at work or after you have left - but you do need to act promptly. You will usually have just six months from the date of the last underpayment to start claim proceedings for the underpayment.

What should I know before making an equal pay claim?

Employment law has strict time limits. In most cases you will have six months from the end of your employment or from the last day you were underpaid to start a claim in an Employment Tribunal or six years for a claim in a County Court.

Funding options for equal pay claims

There are a number of different funding types in place which can be used to pay for the work we provide. If you have any queries regarding options available, call our legal advisors today on 08000 93 00 94 or complete our short online enquiry form.

Do you want to discuss your claim further?

It is important you get in contact with us as soon as possible so we can help before it is too late. Good cases can be lost before they even start through hesitation or delay.

You can complete our short and simple online enquiry form and one of your advisors can contact you whenever suits you, or call us direct on 01246 266867.

Claim Questionnaire

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