Key things to know about equal pay

By law, men and women should be paid the same for carrying out similar work. The equal pay issue is usually, but not exclusively, a gender problem. There are still circumstances today which result in some women receiving less than men for carrying out the same work. The Equality Act 2010 outlines gender equality and the requirement for men and women in the same role to receive equal pay. This is enshrined in law and employers must adhere to it. If they don’t, this can lead to an expensive employment tribunal.

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Does equal pay only apply to certain staff?

Equal pay applies to all staff regardless as to how long they have been with the company. Both full-time and part-time staff should receive equal pay, as well as those on zero-hours contracts. Apprentices are also entitled to receive equal pay.

What aspects of company pay does equality refer to?

Equal pay applies to basic pay and bonuses, overtime hours and company allowances. Performance bonuses and company cars also fall under the equal pay umbrella. Pension schemes, too, should offer full gender equality. If the company is offering voluntary redundancy, genders should be treated equally and they should also be entitled to sick pay on an equal basis.

Will non-adherence to equal pay lead to a tribunal?

It’s always possible that a frustrated employee will go to a tribunal over matters related to equal pay. In some cases, a cost warning letter can be a beneficial tool in persuading claimants to settle a dispute before the case gets too costly. The letter will inform the claimant that an application for costs incurred may be made if the case is not withdrawn.

What is included in a warning letter?

An employment tribunal costs warning letter should outline why a claim has little legal basis and it should detail the consequences of the costs involved in a final hearing. The tone of the letter should be taken into consideration. A tribunal will not look favourably upon an aggressively written letter. If you require professional expertise, there are experts who will be happy to assist with a costs warning letter such as:

Are there still instances today when the Equal Pay Act is not adhered to?

There are still occasions when employees will seek a tribunal regarding equal pay. However, most organisations are aware of their legal obligations and the detrimental publicity associated with losing a case. This extends to sport. According to the Morning Star Wales’ women’s and men’s senior players will, for the first time, be paid the same while on international duty under a new equal pay agreement.

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How can an employee claim under the Equal Pay Act?

For an employee to make a claim under this Act, they must prove that the work carried out is the same as another staff member of a different gender. They must show that the work carried out is of equal value in relation to effort and skills.