The UK has had sex equality legislation since 1975. It is currently contained in the Equality Act 2010. The term ‘equal pay’ can be a confusing for both employers and employees. Equal pay means gender equality in both pay and all contractual terms. There is an implied sex equality clause in all contract of employment and employers must ensure that they do not breach it.
In effect the sex equality clause modifies the contract of employment to ensure that none of its terms are less favourable than those of an employee of the opposite sex, doing equal work. This is subject to an employer’s ability to rely on the ‘material factor’ defence.
As an employer you will want to ensure that you are taking the steps necessary to ensure that men and women receive equal pay so as to avoid workplace conflict and litigation.
In addition, you may have concerns about the process and consequences of gender pay gap reporting. The Equality Act 2010 (Gender Pay Gap Information) Regulations 2017 SI 2017/172 came into force on 6 April 2017 in Great Britain. The Regulations apply to employers in the private and voluntary sectors with at least 250 employees.
You may have seen the recent high profile cases surrounding equal pay and the costly consequences of getting it wrong. People are more aware than ever before of their right to be paid fairly – regardless of whether they work for a large company with statutory reporting requirements or for a small business either in the public or private sector.
3PB’s employment specialists are able to assist you in relation to all issues arising in relation to equal pay and terms.
You may have concerns that you are not being provided with the same pay or terms as a colleague of the opposite sex.
Or it might be that you have raised your query around equal pay with your employer and have not received a satisfactory response.
If so then you will want to obtain legal advice as soon as possible 3PB’s specialist employment barristers have expertise in dealing with such issues and will be able to evaluate your case, discuss the scenario with you and advise you how to proceed. It may be that ultimately you take your employer to the employment tribunal; or the issue could be resolved without any need to take matters that far.
You may be able to access help with your legal costs via your home or motor insurance (if you have legal expenses insurance or via a professional membership association. Specialist legal costs funding may also be available. Speak to one of our experienced team about this. Access general information on costs funding here.
For help and advice please contact Russell Porter on +44 (0)3333 231 586 or email us.
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