Equal-pay claims and ‘same employment’ test

By Fatim Kurji

Fatim Kurji considers the meaning of ‘same employment’ within the equal-pay legislation.

The Equality Act 2010, and before it the Equal Pay Act 1970, seeks to ensure that male and female employees undertaking the same kind of work have the benefit of equal terms and conditions. Where an inequality is found, the employee is entitled to the benefit of the more favourable term as if it had been included in his or her contract of employment from the outset.

Unpicking equal-pay claims can be tricky and requires a detailed examination of the terms and conditions of both employees. The starting point is to find a suitable comparator: an employee of the opposite sex who undertakes the same kind of work. In analysing the kind of work employees perform, there are three relevant categories: (i) like work; (ii) work rated as equivalent; and (iii) work of equal value…

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