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The Equal Pay Act 1970 is an Act of the United Kingdom Parliament which prohibits any less favourable treatment between men and women in terms of pay and conditions of employment. It came into force on 29 December 1975. The term pay is interpreted in a broad sense to include, on top of wages, things like holidays, pension rights, company perks and some kinds of bonuses. The legislation has been amended on a number of recent occasions to incorporate a simplified approach under European Union law that is common to all member states.

The act has been criticised as it fails to address the gap between ethnic minorities (Black and Asian) and white workers. The gap between ethnic minorities and white workers is much higher than that of men and women.[1][2][3]

Elements of a claimEdit

For an employee to claim under this Act they must prove one of the following:

  • That the work done by the claimant is the same, or broadly the same, as the other employee.
  • That the work done by the claimant is of equal value to that of the other employee.
  • That the work done by the claimant is rated (by a job evaluation study) the same as that of the other employee.

Once the employee has established that they are employed on 'equal work' with their comparator then they are entitled to 'equal pay' unless the employer proves that the difference in pay is genuinely due to a material factor which is not the difference in gender.

Single StatusEdit

In 1997, trades unions negotiated Single Status job evaluation, hoping that this would enforce the Equal Pay Act without needing to take numerous pay claims to industrial tribunal. Single Status was intended to establish whether jobs were of equal value, and bring in a pay model which would remove the need for equal pay claims. Jobs which had previously been classed as manual or administrative/clerical would be brought together under one payscale and one set of terms and conditions. As of March 2008, however, Single Status has resulted in industrial action in Coventry and Birmingham, with Wolverhampton considering it; trade union Unison has declared Single Status unfit for the purpose of equal pay.

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

External linksEdit

  • Directive 2006/54/EC, on the equal treatment of men and women in employment regarding the definitions of direct and indirect discrimination, harassment and provisions on maternity. It comes fully into effect in August 2008, and just does a consolidating job and repeals a number of previous Directives, including 76/207/EEC and 2002/73/EC.

Template:UK legislation

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