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Equal pay question

(17 Posts)
DSM Sun 27-Mar-11 17:22:10

My colleague and I are being paid different rates.

He has been with the company, in the position he is in, for approx. 4 years, I have been here for 2 years but ubtilnlast month, was a grade lower than him. I was moved up a grade, and we now have the same job title, and I was given a pay rise to match his.

However, I have found out that he is now being paid more than me, as he also received a pay rise, prior to mine.

Should I be demanding to be paid the same as him? He has been with the company longer, but we do the same job and have the same job title.

Are they allowed to pay him more because of length of service?

Violethill Sun 27-Mar-11 17:42:38

If there is a pay scale which is dependent on length of service then I can't see the issue. You got a pay rise, he did too.

DSM Sun 27-Mar-11 17:50:15

It's not dependent on length of service, or at least it's not documented to be so nor have I ever heard of it. It is meant to be: level 1 gets £x, level 2 gets £xx and so on. But as I moved on to level 3, and on to the same rate of pay as he was receiving, he moved onto a new rate of pay.

I appreciate that we both got a pay rise, however I moved up a level to a new position, and he didn't.

Tidybush Sun 27-Mar-11 18:08:36

If you do the same job, have same title and job description and are graded at the same level, with no defined incremental scale for length of service then the fact that he is a man and (I assume?) you are a woman leaves your company on a very sticky wicket indeed as this would easily be found to be sex discrimination (would be a different story if you were both the same sex as there is no law that says you have to pay someone the same as someone else only that you can't treat someone less favourablly due to gender, race, disability etc).

Why not have a word with ACAS for some advice about how to tackle this?

stealthcat Sun 27-Mar-11 18:14:25

Its not uncommon for people in the private sector to be at the same grade, but different salary. Are you the only two people in the company on that grade?

DSM Sun 27-Mar-11 19:06:58

Hmm. So I guess I am being treated less favourably, I'm being paid less for doing the same job.

Stealth - no, there are hundreds of other people in the company with the same job as we have, though none in our unit. I have no idea how much any of them get paid, though I do know that what I am on is a standard rate so assume moat people are the same, his has been inflated and exists as a separate job code. One that isn't on the normal pay scale.

stealthcat Sun 27-Mar-11 20:15:36

If there are hundreds of people on the same grade and you are right in assuming that most people are on the same rate and that this man is a special case then you might struggle to establish that you are paid less because of being female, as it sounds like you think there will be a number of men being paid the same as you.

DSM Sun 27-Mar-11 20:20:30

Well, yes but like I said I an assuming. I have no idea what other people are paid, most don't live in this country, however the 'advertised' pay rates are what I get, but my colleague is receiving a pay rate that isn't on the normal scale (basically, between scales 3 and 4).

I just think it seems unfair, we are the only two people in our unit doing this job, and he is getting paid more. Granted, he has been here longer, but I have more experience, outwith this company.

DSM Mon 28-Mar-11 11:16:37

Any other help? I'm unsure what to do..

lydiajane Mon 28-Mar-11 12:04:30

You are entitled to be paid the same as a man in a comparable job working within the same employment. The law provides you, and every other person, with an equality clause in your employment contract. Under certain provisions laid down in law, you can activate that equality clause. A woman is entitled to be provided with back pay covering the period in which she has been paid on the lower rate (up to six years) and to be put on the same grade for the future.

It does not matter than other men are paid the same rate as you - so long as you can establish that a person of the opposite sex to you, who is either in the same work or work rated as equivalent or work of equal value, and works in the same employment, is paid more. The law then requires that your employer proves that the difference in pay is not by reason of sex. If they can do this, you have not been discriminated against. There is case law that indicates that length of service is one acceptible reason for paying one person more than another, because it can be argued that their experience makes them more valuable to the company. If however, when you started work, you were on less money than when he started work, that argument would be hard for the company to advance.

It sounds as though you have a claim for direct sex discrimination. You should talk to a solicitor who specialises in employment law. Even better, you should contact your trade union - or join one - they would be able to advance your case on your behalf. A first step would be to put in a written grievance to your company stating that you think you might be entitled to equal pay and asking them for further information about how your and his salaries are calculated. Many women in the private sector are too frightened to ask for equal pay even though they are legally entitled to it - this is a major reason why private sector employers continue to discriminate against women and employ them on the cheap.

DSM Mon 28-Mar-11 12:12:42

Thanks for that.

I don't want to cause a big fuss, but I am feeling a bit put out at him being paid more. It makes me feel less valued, but then I feel by arguing I am making myself out to be 'worth more', which is a little embarrassing.

Basically, I started out on a level down from him, being paid less. He was being paid what I now get. I was moved up a level, so we are now the same level. I was then paid what he was paid. Then I found put he was given a pat rise to even higher.

There are only 3 of us in our unit, so I feel awkward making such a fuss, plus both my colleague and I are about to be interviewed for a promotion, of which only one of us will get. It's another pay rise, but it's even more pertinent now as I have more to lose as its more of a pay rise for me than him IYSWIM.

SarkyLady Mon 28-Mar-11 12:16:32

I would write a polite letter stating that it has come to your attention that staff within your grade are being paid at different levels and you would be grateful if they could inform you what the requirements are to be paid a the higher level so that you can move towards this.

RibenaBerry Mon 28-Mar-11 17:59:04

Do you really believe that this is about sex discrimination? If you do, then that's one thing. But if not, I wouldn't go down the route of talking about equal pay and sex discrimnation yet. I don't get the sense from your post that you think that this is specifically about gender- just that you are peed off that a colleague is being paid more than you for the same role.

I would treat it just as you would if you'd found out that a female colleague was being paid more. Ask to set up a meeting with your manager, explain that you've become aware of this, ask what the reasons are and, if it seems appropriate as the discussion progresses, what you would need to obtain a similar increase. There may be facts you don't know, and if you start talking about discrimination immediately, the shutters will come down and you could find that your working environment deteriorates (not least because, even if they don't mean to, your colleagues and boss will be watching every word they say).

EqualPayLegal Fri 19-Jun-15 15:31:15

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Stevie77 Fri 19-Jun-15 16:50:27

When something like this happened to me my line manager excused the pay difference with some pretty dodgy arguments.

Get all your facts together and get some advice before raising it, and be prepared with counter arguments for any excuse they may come up with.

Not saying this is the case, but pay inequality/discrimination exists and is more common than we realise. Sadly, it is easy for organisations to get away with it as can be hard to prove.

HRAdvisor Thu 25-Jun-15 00:05:14

In reality, this is very hard to prove. You need objective, tangible evidence that the reason is not down to experience or capability, but purely on the basis that he is a male and you are a female.

flowery Thu 25-Jun-15 05:23:18

Why keep bumping this 4 year old thread?

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