I am in a team of 4; 3 males and 1 female (Myself). We all have the same job description but I have more qualifications than the men, relevant to the post. I am on less money than them yet doing the same job; in fact could argue I had more responsibility at one time. How can I approach this with my employer?
Province/Country relating to question : UK
Thank you for your question.
From the information provided, you could have an equal pay claim against your employer on the basis that you are employed on like work to your male counterparts but on less money. This could be raised informally with your employer (eg: at an appraisal/annual performance review). You could also raise it informally with your line manager before, for example, issuing a grievance, by issuing a grievance or potentially by bringing an Employment Tribunal claim. You might also have some success if you were to serve on your employer an Equal Pay Act Questionnaire, which will require your employer to respond to questions you ask in an unequivocal fashion about the reasons and rationale for the pay differential.
These are all fairly draconian steps and your actions will very much depend on whether you want to remain in your employment - you have to be very strong minded if you are going to pursue this formally through the grievance process and beyond - and I'm not sure from what you've said that you've exhausted the softer, more informal routes yet.
I hope this helps.
Best of Luck!
Many thanks Sarah.
How do I serve an Equal Pay Act Questionnaire?
An equal pay questionnaire is usually served prior to bringing a claim in the Employment Tribunal for sex discrimination on the basis of equal pay.
I've attached a link to the Government Equalities Office:
I wanted to attach as a word document the equal pay questionnaire so you can see what information you need/how you need to go about completing this and serving it on your employer but technologoy is defeating me - but if you go onto the Government Equalities website and type in Equal Pay Questionnaire, you'll be able to download it for yourself. Hope that's ok!
16 years' specialist employment law experience in private practice
Many thanks for your help Sarah.
Hi Sarah, I have had a response from my HR department to my equal pay questionnaire. I stated I have been paid less than my colleagues since joining the Company and I have more qualifications (Which would cost £2000 for current employees to undertake which is a requirment and does not take into account time out of the business for studying).
The response says my colleagues were on higher pay when I started in March 2008 but I didn't take into account their length of service. 'It would be unfair to bring a new employee into a business on the same salary as those who have been employed several months or years before me@. We do not get incremental pay increases so is this a justified statement?
'In January 2009 the business decided to freeze pay so no employees were given an increase.A market assessment was made and again in 2010 there will be no increases'. However, there will be some exceptions and my salary will be aligned to £33929, from £33000 in March 2008, as it was felt that due to two pay freezes my pay had not had the opportunity to 'catch up' with my colleagues. Is this a fair decision?
I stated I was better qualified than my colleagues and employed for longer hours. (this was to have my pay aligned per hour rather than annual). The response is salaries are not linked to qualifications. (Although all staff have to obtain this qualification). Regarding the contractual hours she confirms not all employees are employed on the same terms and conditions including Tupe transfers and that I do not have grounds for an equal pay claim.
Do you agree?
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