If you have concerned about unfair treatment at work, check out our guide to equal pay and know your rights.

Equal pay | 5 ways to make sure you get paid fairly

Concerned about equal pay? It’s a legal requirement for men and women to be paid equally if they do the same job for the same employer.  So, if you feel like you’re being paid less, this guide will help you address the issue in the best way.


The Law

You should be paid what you’re worth no matter what job you have. Employees now have a legal right to receive equal pay from their employer, so there’s no excuse!

The Equality Act 2010  gives workers a legal right to pay equality with employees of the opposite sex in the same role. The legislation protects people from overall discrimination in the workplace, as well as in their general lives. The act covers various ‘protected characteristics’ ranging from age, ethnicity, religion, gender and disabilities.

Equal pay rights apply to the salary you receive and your terms of employment, including your bonuses, pension and holiday entitlement being equal.

Remember, equal work means doing the same role or doing work that requires the same level of responsibility/skillset. You can find out the details for this on the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC).

The gender pay gap

The gender pay gap is different to equal pay. It is a report that larger organisations are required to publish, showing the difference between the average earnings of both genders. An employer may differ in the way they pay men and women, presenting a pay gap. However, this may be because men at that specific firm have the most senior positions and the women hold the lower paid roles.

Don’t be afraid to ask

If you think you’re not receiving equal pay, you can ask your employer for more information regarding the wages they pay, to allow you to establish whether you are being unfairly paid. If you discover a difference, you can then ask for reasons why. Some organisations will voluntarily share an anonymised breakdown of the salaries so check with the HR department first. 

Addressing the issue with your employer can sometimes be awkward. If you feel more comfortable, you could ask HR for an informal chat to discuss your query. Another way would be to put your query in writing for your employer so that you don’t have to discuss it face-to-face at first.

Do you take it further?

It’s crucial to understand whether you’re being paid less because of your gender or because of the genuine difference in work. If you’re certain that the employer is paying you unfairly, you could raise the issue and attempt to resolve it internally.

If you’ve been unable to resolve the problem, you should consider making an Equal Pay claim. It’s likely you will require legal advice from an employment solicitor if you do so, as it can be a complicated process. This can involve costs to pay for the legal advice and to cover the running of the case. It’s worth weighing up your options before making a claim, assessing your chances of success and whether it’s worth the legal battle. An employment lawyer will be able to help you with this decision.

Getting a new job

If you’ve recently left your old job to start a new role, it’s the perfect time to negotiate the right salary before signing your contract.

Do your salary research into your role and specific sector, this will make a massive difference when negotiating your next salary with your new employer and ensure you get the equal pay you deserve.


So, always bare in mind that you have a legal right to receive equal pay at any organisation so never accept anything less than you deserve!

If you have a problem or you think you’re being unfairly paid, bring it up in conversation to your Manager or HR dept. and get the bottom of the problem. If you do decide to take it further, make sure you have the facts to back up your disagreement and seek legal advice first.

You can also take advantage of the free legal support from the Growth Company or contact Citizens Advice Bureau.

Similar Posts