Essential points

  • Men and women in the same employment, performing equal work, are entitled to equal pay under the Equality Act 2010 unless a pay difference can be justified. 
  • The right to equal pay applies to employees, workers (including agency workers), on full-, part-time, or temporary contracts, apprentices and self-employed people. 
  • Equal pay covers basic pay, pension, holiday, overtime, redundancy and sick pay, performance-related pay, benefits such as a company car or gym membership, and other contractual terms such as working hours and annual leave. 
  • Equal work is ‘like work’ (involving similar tasks, knowledge and skills), ‘work rated as equivalent’ (under a job evaluation scheme) or ‘work of equal value’ (not similar but equivalent in effort, skill and decision-making). 
  • To avoid claims and reputational risks, organisations should check for transparency in their pay structures, carry out an audit if problems are suspected, and create an action plan for correcting unjustifiable inequalities.

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‚ÄčPlease note: While every care has been taken in compiling this content, CIPD cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions. These notes are not intended to be a substitute for specific legal advice. 

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