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Equal Pay Act 1970: Equality Act 2010

The Equal Pay Act 1970 now incorporates the UK Equality Act 2010. It provides an equality clause for anyone (men and women) employed in Great Britain.

EQUAL PAY UK: What is the Equal Pay Act 2010 and how does it work?

In short, people who perform work of equal value or the same job, should get equal pay or the same wage.

Yet, even in the United Kingdom there are cases where the equality act fails. This is despite the law stating that they must.

Equal pay means employers must give men and women equal treatment.

Equal treatment of men and women refers to the terms and conditions of their employment contract.

As a rule, it is an issue revolving around gender – but it is not gender exclusive. Thus, sometimes women get paid less money than men for doing the same type of work.

The Equal Pay Act 1970 gets more specific when all workers are employed to:

  • Do ‘like work’ meaning work that is the same or broadly similar.
  • Perform work rated as equivalent under a job evaluation study.
  • Do work found to be of equal value in terms of skill, effort, or decision making.

Referenced from the Lawrite Employment Guide UK

The effect of the equality clause is that where any term of the woman’s contract is, or becomes, less favourable to her than a term of a similar kind in the contract under which a man is employed, that term of the woman’s contract is modified so as to make it not less favourable.

Where the woman’s contract does not include a beneficial term that forms part of the man’s contract, the woman’s contract is treated as including the missing term.

How to Check if You get Paid Equally

There are several ways to find out whether you are getting paid an equal amount as your counterparts, such as:

  • Asking your work colleagues and comparing salaries.
  • Conducting an equal pay questionnaire.
  • Checking pay offers and rewards in job adverts.
  • Researching and gathering data from job evaluation studies.

Note: A pay secrecy clause in an employment contract would get overridden in Great Britain (but not Northern Ireland). It refers to instances where you suspect inequality of pay on gender grounds in the workplace.

An employer is breaking the law if their workforce does not get paid equally. In this case, you can claim for equal pay rights. As a rule, you can claim up to a maximum of six (6) years of lost earnings. The maximum is five (5) years in Scotland.

Sunday Working and Shop-workers

In England and Wales, shop workers get protected from compulsory work on Sundays. They have the option to opt out of Sunday working without their action resulting in dismissal or detriment.

Note: Employment legislation does not necessarily apply to those who are specifically contracted to perform work on Sundays.

The Equal Pay Act 1970 in the United Kingdom