Many employees don’t know much about employment law and they aren’t actually familiar with what their employment rights are. For the most part, this isn’t too much of an issue and as you may expect, you don’t necessarily need to be clued up on these things unless you’re experiencing problems in the workplace that may potentially result in you having to take a case to the Employment Tribunal.
One particular part of employment law that is relevant to many employees yet isn’t necessarily common knowledge is Equal Pay within The Equality Act 2010 (The EA). Unfortunately, it is becoming increasingly common for pay to cause issues between men and women in the workplace, and it is undeniably important for all employees to at least know the basics about equal pay. So, to help anyone who is interested in finding out more about what their legal rights are in relation to equal pay at work, below we have explained the basics.
What does The Equality Act 2010 say About Equal Pay?
Simply put, within The Equality Act 2010, it explains that men and women must get equal pay for doing ‘equal work’. This means that if you’re performing the same work for an employer as someone of the opposite sex then you legally must get paid the same, unless the difference in pay can be justified.
What is Meant by ‘Equal Work’?
This is probably the most difficult part to get your head around when looking into equal pay and understanding what is meant by ‘equal work’ is essential, especially if you’re contemplating making a claim against your employer. There are three different kinds of ‘equal work’;
- ‘Like work’ – this refers to work where the jobs are the same or very similar and the day-to-day tasks require the same or similar skills and knowledge.
- ‘Work rated as equivalent’ – this refers to jobs that aren’t necessarily the same but that are rated equal under a job evaluation. They can be rated equal because of the effort needed to do the job, for example.
- ‘Work of equal value’ – this refers to jobs that aren’t similar and aren’t rated as equivalent but are equal in value. They can be equal value due to the level of skill and responsibility or the demands of the job, for example.
Understandably, it can be difficult to know whether a colleague’s job is equal to yours in any way and whether it falls under any of these kinds of ‘equal work’, so it is best to reach out to an employment law solicitor for advice and clarification in this regard.
Who has the Right to Equal Pay?
Ultimately, almost anyone who is working has the right to equal pay and The EA protects those in a number of different working arrangements. Whether you’re an employee, apprentice or agency worker, you have the right to equal pay and even those who are self-employed have some protection under The EA too.
It is important to note that whether you have a verbal or written employment contract, or whether you’re full-time, part-time or a temporary employee, you still have a right to equal pay.
What does Equal Pay Apply to?
Contrary to popular belief, it isn’t just your basic hourly rate or annual salary that equal pay applies to and there are a number of other contractual terms and conditions covered by The EA too, including;
- Annual leave allowance
- Holiday pay
- Overtime pay
- Redundancy pay
- Sick pay
- Performance-related pay such as bonuses
- Fringe benefits such as travel allowances
- Any additional working benefits such as company cars
To summarise, it isn’t just your pay that should be considered when contemplating making an equal pay claim.
Finding a Local Employment Law Solicitor
Hopefully, you will now know a little bit more about equal pay in the workplace and what your legal rights. Of course, should you find yourself in a situation where you feel as though you may have an equal pay case, it is important to reach out to an employment law solicitor as soon as possible. They will have the experience and knowledge required to answer your questions and help you every step of the way when making a claim.
When searching for an employment law solicitor near you, be sure to visit the Location Lawyer website. We can connect you with a community of local employment law specialists who are ready and able to help you, whatever your case might be. Whether you’re looking for an employment law solicitor in Exeter or an employment law solicitor in Guildford, we can make it much easier for you to find reliable law firms in the local area.