The number of Employment Tribunal applications received in the year to 31 March 2008 was 42 per cent higher than anticipated. A substantial reason for the increase was that the number of equal pay claims brought by low-paid female workers, because they were not being paid the same rates as men performing similar jobs, more than doubled to reach 58,513.
The Equal Pay Act 1970 makes it unlawful for an employer to discriminate between men and women in terms of their pay and conditions where they are doing the same or similar work; work rated as equivalent; or work of equal value.
If a woman’s employment contract does not specifically include an equality clause, it is automatically deemed to include one. If a woman brings a claim for breach of that equality clause, a comparison must be made between the terms of the woman’s own contract and the terms of some other person's contract – ‘the comparator’. The comparator must be a male employee doing the same or similar work, work rated as equivalent or work of equal value.
The Government clearly intends there to be more transparency on equal pay issues, having included measures in the forthcoming Equality Bill to ban secrecy clauses from contracts of employment that prevent people discussing how much they are being paid.
In the circumstances, you may be concerned that anomalies over pay have arisen over a period of time in your organisation and that these could give rise to costly discrimination claims. The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service has produced a free booklet, entitled Job Evaluation: Considerations and Risks, designed to help employers prepare to carry out an evaluation of all the jobs in their organisation. It examines the key issues to address before deciding whether job evaluation is right for your organisation.
The guidance aims to help answer the following questions:
- What is job evaluation?
- Why should you consider carrying out job evaluation in your workplace?
- How do you prepare for job evaluation?
For further information or advice please contact our employment law teams: Bromley Office 0208 464 4242 or London Office 0207 242 7265 or email email@example.com
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Wellers Law Group LLP in Bromley, Kent (part of the Wellers Law Group) - areas covered - Kent, Beckenham, Orpington, Bromley, Chislehurst, Keston, Swanley, West Wickham, Tunbridge Wells, Croydon
Cooke Matheson Solicitors in Gray's Inn, London(part of the Wellers Law Group) - areas covered - London - City, Westminster, Gray's Inn, Surrey