A woman (or man) can claim equal pay with colleagues of the opposite sex where they have the same employer and are doing:
- 'Like work' = work which is the same or broadly similar
- 'Work rated as equivalent' under an analytical job evaluation scheme
- 'Work of equal value'= work which is of equal value in terms of the demands on the jobholder
To know whether or not you are paid less than others doing equal work, you need to choose a comparator.
Your comparator must be a real person, of the opposite gender and a current or past employee working in the same employment as you.
If you have left the relevant employment, you have six months from the date of termination to bring a claim. However, where the inequality was intentionally concealed, you have six months from the date you discovered it or could have been expected to discover it.
If you are still working for the employer in the same role, time will not have started running. It is also possible to bring a claim in the civil court within six years of the last day that an inequality in pay occurred in the particular contract.
Because you could be awarded arrears of pay going back up to six years, equal pay claims can be valuable, especially where this is a large gap in the pay rate. If your equal pay claim is successful the Tribunal can also issue a declaration of your rights, including the right to a pay rise if you are still employed.
If you’re not sure who the best comparator is or need help determining whether you and your chosen comparator are carrying out 'equal work', we can assist you.