Is an employer at liberty to determine its own levels of pay?

Although it is largely up to an employer to agree with each employee on the level of his or her pay, various pieces of legislation place certain restrictions on the levels that can be agreed. Pay must not be less than the relevant rate of the national minimum wage. Employers must also comply with the requirement to pay men and women equal pay for equal work, and not to discriminate against employees in relation to their pay on grounds of any protected characteristic, under the Equality Act 2010. Further, the Part-time Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2000 (SI 2000/1551) and the Fixed-term Employees (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2002 (SI 2002/2034), provide that workers must not be treated less favourably in relation to their pay on account of their part-time or fixed-term worker status.