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Chapter

Cover Employment Law in Context

14. Equal Pay Law  

This chapter examines the principle of equal pay for equal work enshrined in the Equality Act 2010 (EA). It first considers the stubbornness of the gender pay gap in the UK and the EU, as well as the justifications for intervention in the labour market via the auspices of equal pay laws. It goes on to discuss the legal machinery in the EA, which confers an entitlement on employees of one sex to the same remuneration as suitable employee comparators of the opposite sex. The focus then turns to the content of the ‘sex equality clause’—a term imposed into every employee’s contract of employment by virtue of section 66 of the EA. This is followed by a discussion of the material factor defence for employers in section 69 of the EA.

Chapter

Cover Selwyn's Law of Employment

5. Equal Pay  

This chapter considers those provisions of the Equality Act 2010 that deal with equal pay. These include equality of terms and the sex equality clause (s 66); equal work (s 65), ie like work, work rated as equivalent and work of equal value; the defence of material factor (s 69); sex discrimination in relation to contractual pay (s 71); the maternity equality clause (s 73); discussions about pay (s 77); and gender pay gap reporting (s 78). Also covered are rules on jurisdiction (s 127); burden of proof (s 136); time limits (s 129); remedies (s 132); death of a claimant; and backdating awards.

Chapter

Cover Employment Law

18. Equal pay  

This chapter discusses the evolution of equal pay law in the UK, selection of comparator by the claimant, employer defences and remedies, bringing a claim, bringing equal pay cases using sex discrimination statutes, and critiques of equal pay law. The Equal Pay Act, which came into operation in 1975, was repealed in 2010, but its content was effectively transposed into the Equality Act 2010. A claimant is required to name a comparator of the opposite sex who she claims is paid more than she is, without good reason, despite doing the same work, broadly similar work, work which has been rated as equivalent or work of equal value. Equal pay law has been criticised for failing to bring about equality in pay between men and women. Suggested reforms include placing a positive duty on employers to take action to eliminate unequal pay. The chapter also considers gender pay gap reporting.