Last Thursday (14 November 2019) was Equal Pay Day, being the day that represents that women are all working for free for the rest of the year. How so? Because of the gender pay gap. On average, a man earns more than a woman despite being in the same job.
Whilst we have had laws relating to equal pay for equal work by men and women since 1970, there is still a massive difference in pay in some situations purely because of the employee's gender. The Equality Act 2010 currently sets out the legal rules, meaning that where male and female employees undertake "like work", "work rated as equivalent" or "work of equal value" they should get paid the same (unless there is a lawful justification as to why not). Furthermore, since 2017, there has also been a requirement for employers with more than 250 employees to formally report their gender pay information.
Employers, big and small, should be mindful of the equal pay rules and ensure that they are complying with them. Not only can there be potential equal pay claims if they do not but possibly also other discrimination claims based on (for example) sex, race, age or part-time status.
Imagine being paid a lower salary than someone doing the same job as you, just because you are a woman, and they are a man. The situation seems unfeasible in 2019. And yet it would only take a quick glance at recent headlines about presenter Samira Ahmed suing the BBC for paying her a sixth of what it pays male presenter Jeremy Vine, to reveal this nuanced and complex issue is still a very real problem.