Equal Pay- the law
The Equal Pay Act 1970 sets out the fact that two people working in comparable jobs are entitled to the same pay and terms and conditions, regardless of gender. The Act was introduced due to the fact that women were often paid less than men despite doing comparable work, or even the same job. Despite the introduction of the Act, which has now been replaced by the 2010 Equality Act, the problem still persists and women in full time work typically earn around 17% less than men.
This means that if you are a woman working at the same grade as a man but are being paid less or are employed on different terms and conditions, you might have a case for making an equal pay claim.
If you are thinking of making an equal pay compensation claim against your employer then you should employ the services of a specialist solicitor as there is a set process you need to follow. The process also draws on various legal matters, such as the 2010 Equality Act and codes of practice from the European Commission, among others, so it is definitely worth seeking the services of someone who knows equal pay claim law inside out.
When making an equal pay claim, the first thing you will need to do is find someone who can act as a comparator. Assuming that you are a woman making a claim, you will need to find a man who does the same or a similar job as you and be able to prove that they carry out work on the same level as yourself. You will then need to compare their terms of employment with your own to see where the discrepancies lie.
If you can prove a difference in your employment terms and levels of pay, it will then be up to your employer to explain why this is. They will have to give reasons for paying you less than a man in a comparable job and, if their reasons fail to be satisfactory, you will then have to prove that this amounts to sex discrimination.
Equal Pay Claim – proving discrimination
There are three main ways you can make an Employment Tribunal compensation claim for equal pay;
- by proving that you carry out ‘like work’ to your comparator. This is where you carry out work that is the same or largely similar to your male counterpart
- by showing you carry out ‘work rated as equivalent’, which is used to describe jobs that your employer has evaluated and deemed to be worth the same amount of effort and skill.
- by establishing ‘work of equal value’. This can be harder to assess because it requires the Tribunal to decide whether the claimant and the comparator are carrying out jobs that are of equal value. This is something that will generally be carried out by an independent expert on behalf of the Tribunal.
Equal pay claim – compensation
If you win your case at an equal pay claim that the Employment Tribunal, you will be awarded an equality clause in your contract, back pay from the date you lodged your Tribunal claim to the date you received your equality clause and interest on the back pay.
Contact us about your claim for Equal Pay Claim now
If you have think that you been the subject of equal pay discrimination, you must make any employment tribunal claim for compensation within a strict three month period. So don’t delay – or you risk losing your right to compensation.
Our team represent clients on equal pay claims nationwide.
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