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Equal pay

Fiona Cuming

Editor's message: Equal pay is not about the fairness of pay, but about men and women receiving equal pay when they are doing equal work. Equal pay is different from the gender pay gap, which measures the differences between the average pay of male and female employees, irrespective of job role or seniority.

The Equality Act 2010 aims to achieve the objective of equal pay by implying an equality clause into all contracts of employment. This gives each employee a contractual right to receive equal pay with a comparator of the opposite sex who is doing equal work.

“Pay” is not limited to salary and covers other contractual terms and conditions. This means that, even if you pay your male and female employees the same for the same work, their pay will not be equal if other benefits that you provide under their contract of employment are different for men and women.

Employers can minimise the risk of an equal pay claim if they have transparent and structured pay and benefit policies that are reviewed regularly to check for any pay disparities between men and women.

Fiona Cuming, employment law editor

New and updated

  • Eight in 10 want right to know male colleagues' salaries

    Date:
    14 November 2019
    Type:
    News

    Women should have the right to know if they're being paid less than their male colleagues, according to research by campaign group the Fawcett Society.

  • Equal pay

    Type:
    Employment law manual

    Updated to include information on McNeil and others v Revenue and Customs Commissioners, in which the Court of Appeal considered the correct approach to "particular disadvantage" in an equal pay indirect discrimination claim.

  • BBC equal pay: Can employers consider experience when setting salary?

    Date:
    30 May 2019
    Type:
    Commentary and analysis

    The BBC is once again in the spotlight after it offered a more experienced male employee a higher salary than a woman in the same role. But is it really an equal pay issue, or simply an example of an employer rewarding staff based on their experience? Ashleigh Webber reports.

  • Equality regulator to investigate pay discrimination at BBC

    Date:
    14 March 2019
    Type:
    News

    The BBC is being investigated by the Equality and Human Rights Commission following complaints that female employees were not paid equally to men.

  • Morrisons faces fresh equal pay claim

    Date:
    14 February 2019
    Type:
    News

    "Thousands" of current and former Morrisons shop floor staff are claimed to be in the process of bringing an equal pay case against the supermarket, which could result in pay-outs totalling £100 million.

  • Equal pay: Asda shop workers can compare themselves with warehouse staff

    Date:
    7 February 2019
    Type:
    Law reports

    In Asda Stores Ltd v Brierley and others, the Court of Appeal held that workers in Asda supermarkets are entitled to compare their pay with the pay of depot workers because common terms of employment apply.

  • Court of Appeal: Asda workers can proceed with equal pay claims

    Date:
    31 January 2019
    Type:
    News

    The Court of Appeal has ruled that Asda store workers can compare themselves to warehouse workers in their long-running equal pay dispute with the supermarket giant.

  • Glasgow City Council workers secure £500m equal pay deal

    Date:
    18 January 2019
    Type:
    News

    Thousands of female council workers in Glasgow could receive payouts reaching more than £500m after their union representatives agreed a deal with Glasgow City Council to resolve historic equal pay claims.

  • Employee 'class actions' on the rise: what does this mean for employers?

    Date:
    16 January 2019
    Type:
    Commentary and analysis

    The courts have seen a significant rise in the number of employment claims brought by large groups of individuals. The most common employee 'class actions' relate to equal pay and worker status. Caroline Stroud from Freshfields looks at the types of class action claims on the increase and how employers should respond.

  • TalkTalk faces equal pay claim from former manager

    Date:
    19 December 2018
    Type:
    News

    A former manager at TalkTalk has brought a tribunal claim against the telecoms company, claiming she was paid 40% less than male colleagues doing the same job.