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Equal pay

The Equal Pay Act has now been replaced by the Equality Act 2010.

This is an overview of how equal pay claims work. It is not a comprehensive, and should not be used as an alternative for proper legal advice. The issues are complex and require expert attention, and “shortcuts” have been used in this article to make it more understandable. Do feel free to contact or call us should you have any questions. Our employment law solicitors are experts in their fields.

Do you need a solicitor to help you?

Equal pay claims are pretty complex as you’ll see from the information below!

  • If you are an employee and you think you have been subjected to unequal treatment against, take a look at our employment tribunal representation page.
  • If you are an employer and an employee is making allegations of unequal treatment against you in the employment tribunal, take a look at the employment tribunal defence service.

Summary of the equal pay claims

The idea is simply that men and women should receive the same pay for equal work. This is easy if comparing the same job for the same employer, but gets more complex when the jobs are alleged to be “equivalent” but not the same (for instance, should a female traffic warden be paid the same as a male police officer?).

Equal pay laws work by imposing a “sex equality clause” into the woman’s contract of employment, which automatically gives her equality of terms (e.g. pay) as a man doing the same work.

What is covered?

Equal pay claims can relate to pay and any other contractual term. For instance:

  • Pay, sick pay, holiday pay
  • Hours of work
  • Performance-related pay and benefits, overtime rates and allowances
  • certain bonuses and benefits in kind such as company cars
  • Pension benefits and access to pension schemes
  • Automatic pay progression

Time limits for equal pay claims

An equal pay claim can be brought in an employment tribunal at any time during the employment to which it relates or, if the employment has ended, any time before the end of the “qualifying period”. Tribunals cannot extend the time limits – they are set in stone. In some cases existing claims can be amended to include new types of claim or other comparators.

Contact the Employment team at Ironmonger Curtis on 0845 222 2635.

For business law advice call 0845 225 2635

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