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Employment Law

Equal Pay

Equal pay law covers pay and any other contractual term of employment. Employers are required to give men and women equal treatment concerning the terms and conditions of their contract of employment.

If this is not the case, then an employee (irrespective of whether they are a man or a woman) can bring a claim against their employer.

Examples of matters covered by equal pay law include but are not limited to:

  • Basic pay;
  • Performance related benefits;
  • Hours of work;
  • Annual leave entitlements;
  • Sick pay;
  • Non-discretionary bonuses.

Is the employee eligible to bring a claim?

An employee is eligible to bring a claim if they are employed under either:

  • A contract of service;
  • A contract of apprenticeship; or
  • A contract personally to do work.

This includes employees (under full-time, part-time, casual or temporary contracts), workers and some self-employed people whose contracts require personal performance.

What must the employee prove?

  • That they are employed at an establishment in Great Britain;
  • That their comparator is someone working for the same employer;
  • That they are doing work that is the same or broadly similar or work rated as equivalent or work of equal value in terms of effort, skill or decision making compared to that of their comparator;
  • That their comparator has a term in their contract that is more favourable than the equivalent term.

What is a comparator?

A comparator is someone who:

  • Works for the same employer;
  • Doing like work of equal value to the employee; and
  • Is of the opposite sex.

How can an employer defend an equal pay claim?

An employer may defend an equal pay claim if they are able to prove that the reason for the difference is for a genuine reason and that it is not based upon the difference of sex.

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