Equal pay

The right to equal pay was first legally introduced in the Equal Pay Act 1970 and is now under the Equality Act 2010. The sections relating to equal pay are known as ‘the equality of terms’ and are brought together in the Equal Pay Statutory Code of Practice. The principle of these sections is that both men and women should be treated equally within the terms and conditions of their employment contracts. This includes the amount that they are paid as a basic salary/hourly rate, and also their ability to request pay rises and receive bonuses. The Act also incorporates pensions within this. Essentially the aim is to ensure that there are equal rewards for completing equal work.

What is equal work?

There are three different kinds of equal work according to the Act. 1. ‘Like work’ - the same or broadly similar, provided that where there are any differences in the work, they are not of practical importance 2. 'Work rated as equivalent' - different, but which is rated under the same job evaluation scheme as being work of equal value 3. ‘Work of equal value’ - different, but of equal value in terms of factors such as effort, skill and decision-making.

Effects of unequal pay

Failing to follow the equality provisions of the Act not only negatively affects women but can also negatively affect society. The far-reaching implications include the fact that women will be paying lower pension contributions, which means there is a high chance of poverty for women later in life.

What to do if you think you are not receiving equal pay

Employees are able to write to their employer requesting information to help them establish whether pay between genders is fair, and whether there are any legitimate reasons for the differences. It is important to note that a difference in pay does not automatically indicate unequal pay, as an employee’s performance would also need to be considered when establishing reasons that there may be a discrepancy. This is because most organisations have a pay scale that they use to determine whether someone should receive a pay rise - full transparency of these can help employees understand discrepancies. Transparency means that the pay and benefit systems should be capable of being understood by everyone within the organisation. If you have any questions around equal pay or need further information, then Health Assured are here to help. You can contact us through your bespoke helpline number or email us: counsellingadvice@healthassured.co.uk You can also visit our online portal: www.healthassuredeap.com

Facts

• In April 2017, the gender pay gap for full-time employees decreased from 9.4% to 9.1%. • For high earners, the gap for full-time employees was 18.2% in 2017, with the top 10 earners having a gap as considerable as 54.9% between males and females. • The fact that 42% of women work part-time compared to 12% of men causes pay gap issues, as part-time employees earn less on average than full-time employees.

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