Equal Pay

Closing the gender pay gap by advancing equity for a more inclusive society.


How do I make a claim for equal pay?

There are several things to consider before making a claim for equal pay:

  1. Am I eligible?

To bring an equal pay claim you must be (or have been) “employed” under either:

  • A contract of service.
  • A contract of apprenticeship.
  • A contract personally to do work.

You must be able to compare your pay and/or contractual terms and conditions against someone else. The comparator must:

  • Be of the opposite sex
  • Work for the same employer
  • Do ‘equal work’

A comparator can be multiple people, as well as ex-members of staff.

You must be able to show that the comparator performs ‘equal work’ to you. This can be difficult, but in summary means: 

  • ‘Like work’: the same or similar job and skills
  • Work rated as ‘equivalent’: usually using a job evaluation against another role
  • Work of ‘equal value’: work that is not similar but is of equal value because of the skill, responsibility or demands of the working conditions

2. Am I within the time limit?

There are strict and complicated time limits for making an equal pay claim at the employment tribunal and calculating the correct date is vital. 

Typically a claim at the employment tribunal must be made within 6 months after the relevant qualifying date and this date is dependent on the type of claim you are bringing, so it is important that you receive legal advice before making a claim.

Claims for equal pay can also be brought in the civil courts within a period of six years, however specialist advice should be sought before taking this step.

How much can I claim?

If successful, the tribunal will award compensation for arrears of pay up to 6 years before the date of the claim.

Equal pay and other forms of discrimination

By law, employers must not pay an employee less, or give them less favourable terms and conditions, because of their disability, race, religion, sexual orientation or another ‘protected characteristic’. Find more about discrimination here.

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