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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: UK Employment Law
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Hi, I recently discovered that a new member of staff (male

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I recently discovered that a new member of staff (male aged 28) was brought in on significantly more money than myself (£2000). After discussing this with HR and them investigating this we have been told this is due to previous work expo. Now we both come from a similar sales back ground and he has no experience in our sector (welfare to work). I was wondering what the laws are surrounding this.

I am a female aged 28.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.
Before proceeding please note that as I am a practising solicitor, I am often in and out of meetings, travelling between clients or even at court when I pick your question up. This may even occur at weekends. Therefore, I apologise in advance but there may be a delay in getting back to you and providing my advice. Please be patient and I will respond as soon as I can. You do not have to wait here and you will receive an email when I have responded. For now please let me know how long you have worked there.


I have worked in the company for 14 months i have been in my current role for 11 months

Ben Jones and other UK Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
The law on equal pay is frequently misunderstood. Many workers believe that there is a right to equal pay across the workforce, especially for workers that perform the same or similar jobs.

However, the reality is that employers are free to pay their employees whatever they wish, as long as it is above the National Minimum Wage and in accordance with the employee's contract of employment. It is not generally unlawful to pay employees doing the same or similar jobs different rates. The only time this would be an issue is if the reasons for the difference in pay is discriminatory, most commonly due to a difference in gender.

Therefore, if there is evidence that the reason for the difference in pay is gender-related, the law of equal pay will be relevant and a potential claim would exist. However, if the reason is not discriminatory then there is unlikely to be a valid claim. Whilst the employer’s actions may impact on the employees’ morale and may seem unfair, they would not be illegal.

Even if there was evidence that the reasons may be gender-related, the employer could still try and rely on the genuine material factor defence to defend any equal pay claim. This would occur where the employer can show the difference in pay is due to:
- Market forces and skills shortages
- Red circling
- Geographical differences
- Different skills, qualifications and experience

I hope this answers your question. I would be glad to answer any queries you may have but in the meantime would be grateful for your rating. Many thanks
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

In this circumstance though the only difference as far as I can see it is a difference in gender.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
The expert asked me to leave feed back and stated the chat would not close. I did leave positive feed back and awaited for him to respond to my last statement as the answer was vague (I could have googled that information). I have waited over 24 hours and nothing back.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I have spoken with my HR dept and the reson they gave for this is that his previous work experience made him more experienced to do the job. We both have very similar employment history (he was in sales to corporate companies as was I)I asked about this and they said it was due to my previous job being a temp position (I was there for 12 months) my comparator was also in his last job for just over 12 months. My question is do I just have to accept this answer or am I in a strong position regarding equal pay. I also undertake more duties within my team as I am the most experienced as was basically told by HR pay does not affect this
Hi sorry I was offline by the time you had replied. I would not say you are in a very strong position because there is a potential reason the employer can use to try and justify the difference in pay. However, if you make a claim then it would be for them to show and persuade the tribunal that the reasons they are using were justifiable in the circumstances. As such, if they provide sufficient evidence it may mean that your claim is not successful. What they do provide though is a guess at this stage so it is impossible to say whether you will have a successful claim or not
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thanks for your quick reply Ben.
My pleasure, all the best

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