Being underpaid - what steps do I take

(4 Posts)
WayBeyondFedUp Sat 29-Jun-13 10:32:58

Have name changed as I don't want anyone who happens across this query should things escalate at work as they could to link me to other postings on here as a result which would confirm for them who I am.

Ok so I have been reading some info on equality law which says it is discrimination to pay me less than male colleagues doing like for like work, but also to pay me less because I am part time.

Although no-one at my office does the same job as me, I have a piece of paper from a few years ago which shows my job ranked in line with other colleagues (who I believe all get paid more than me), and above others (who get paid around the same or more than me).

I feel that both these situations apply to me; Being paid less than like for like work of male colleagues, and being paid less than full time workers. Although I wasn't told exact amounts I was told by an ex colleague that I am paid less than certain employees whos work value is ranked lower than mine of the 'chart' I have.

I have tried to phone the CAB but they are very busy and so haven't managed to get through yet. So can anyone advise if this is something I can deal with myself, or if I should see a solicitor initially (although I couldn't afford one to deal with this for me)

What should I do initially? I read somewhere that there is a questionnaire I can send my employers asking them to rank my work against other colleagues, but I can't seem to print that off. Does anyone have a printable link for that please?

Also is there a time limit once I start this that I would need to take it to an industrial tribunal in which case I need to have a plan in place of what step to take and when.

Is anyone able to advise on where to start (ie an informal chat, or the questionnaire or to bringa grievance right away), and what the stages I need to go through are, time frames to allow and at what point I need to get a solicitor involved, if at all.

This has been going on for some years, but things have come to a head now as the company is taking on a new (male) employee who I am certain will be paid more than me and I'm fed up of being shafted in this way.

There was a conversation a few years ago about my WTC in relation to payrises (where I advise them it wouldn't be worth my while to accept a very minor payrise and that I needed more money/hours) which probably complicates things. But that fact they've taken this into account when deciding payrises and at my last appraisal mentioned it as a reason I had not been given payrises when I asked for one, only adds to the discrimination I think. This is what makes me think I may need a solicitor or some proper legal advice.

Many thanks

bellasuewow Sat 29-Jun-13 14:26:20

Is it possible that you could find out what your colleagues are earning they are free to tell you if they want to is there anyone you trust that you can ask, how does your company pay is it based on performance or banding, I am concerned that you may be going from nought to sixty based on hearsay, bear in mind this may be someone stirring and may not be true don't ruin your relationship with work if you end up finding out there is no problem and don't automatically imagine a conspiracy. You seem to have gone outside the organisation rather than speak to your line manager and hr, why do you feel unable to speak to them? I suggest a confidential meeting with hr to discuss and you could raise not a grievance but a query or question and make it clear that you want this information. Hope this helps and good luck

bellasuewow Sat 29-Jun-13 14:27:04

Sorry forgot to say if you have been discriminated against then there is a very long time limit on et claims I think it is indefinite

WayBeyondFedUp Sat 29-Jun-13 18:39:11

There is no HR department. In fact since the last person who was in charge of personnel/HR retired we have not been told that anyone has taken over the roll. I was going to ask about pay at my appraisal with her, only she kept delaying, then annouced she was retiring and it never happened and I am on my third new boss who thinks that paying me a pitance is great for their bottom line.

Everyone is too busy to be bothered with stuff like this. I think the pay is generally based on what they can get away with. I was taken on as a trainee 8 years ago having been out of the work place for 5 years. I didn't know what to ask for or what the going rate was. It was immediately clear I hadn't asked for enough as I had assumed parking would be about a third of the price it actually was. I was given a pay rise to cover this when I explained and hardly anything since.

I have never been advised that my job title has changed. I was however given a piece of paper a couple of years ago showing the firms structure that listed me as 'senior' as opposed to an 'assistant'. I sign all my own letters, no one checks my work and I manage my own work load. But I am still paid at the rate of a trainee.

I wouldn't have a clue who to speak too about anything like this now. I have mentioned to my line manager many times over the past year that I want a payrise and they agreed they'd like to pay me more but it is out of their hands. I don't think they even know what my hourly rate is...

I don't have a 'good relationship' with work. I feel used and undervalued and that I'm being taken advantage of. I felt I had no choice as a single parent with no support but to stick with a job that was prepared to offer school hours etc but my son is rapidly approaching school leaving age and I have to make some decision about whether to stick at this job (which I do actually enjoy and my clients are great and is why I am still here), or if I go somewhere else that pays me a wage that I can afford to live on and not just scrape by. I will have no choice but to move once my WTC stops.

There is no hearsay re peoples wages. I was advised by an ex employee that she had seen a piece of paper with details of peoples pay on, and I was being paid less than certain other people. She couldn't rememeber the specific amounts though. The only other people who I know get paid similar amounts to me are also part time workers. Because they've been making redundancies the general opinion seems to be that we are lucky to have jobs at all. It's not a good atmosphere to be working in. But now they are taking on someone new and although I don't know how much he will be paid I serious doubt he will be leaving an admin job for this kind of work (career change) for less that £10 an hour.

I do not get paid a living wage imo. My WTC pays for my petrol to and from work and once that goes I won't be able to afford to keep doing this job. I was not offered the chance of more hours, or asked if I was interested in this other role. In fact I only heard about it when others in the office said he was starting next week.

So yes maybe I've gone form 0-60 in no time, but this has been an ongoing issue for several years and I am getting nowhere by waiting and assuming bosses will take care of their hard working staff. I am not good at speaking up and asking for things and have been simmering over this for year now and I'm at breaking point.

I was told at my recent appraisal that they value my work and I do a great job. But when I asked about a payrise I was given the 'we're not giving any payrises again this year' and when I mentioned I was paid less than the secretaries even and wouldn't be able to keep doing this job in the next 3 years they made some notes and that was it. Turns out the only reason for appraisals was because they had to do them ahead of the next redundancy round. So now whenever anyone mentions appraisals we pretty much know why as they don't seem to do them otherwise.

Sorry for the rant. Am very frustrated and stressed and really don't know where to go or what to do next.

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