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Equal pay claim

(3 Posts)
CrystalSkull Wed 09-Mar-16 22:42:10

Has anybody ever made, or otherwise had experience of, an equal pay claim? I might go down this route after I have exhausted all other channels, but I am finding the decision difficult and I feel very alone. It would be good to hear from anyone else who has experience of this.

jclm Thu 10-Mar-16 20:38:10

i have no knowledge or experience of this, but you should go for it! could you say a bit more about your situation. hopefully someone with knowledge of HR and employment law will come along soon...

EBearhug Fri 11-Mar-16 00:50:14

I haven't done it. I have definitely thought about it. The first time was about 15 years ago, and I raised it with my manager. The response I got was, "Discussing pay is a sackable offence," so I didn't know what else to do. I was only in my 20s then, and I'm more knowledgeable and bolshy these days, and would have challenged it more. (I was right to have raised it; a couple of years later when HR did a pay audit on the department, I got a 26% payrise.)

I also considered it a few years ago in my current job. I raised that with my manager on the back of having had a job offer at a rather higher salary (for a job I wasn't that keen on,) and for a couple of years, I was getting higher percentage rises and more frequently than was normal. I am currently considering discreetly asking a colleague if he will tell me what he's on, because a comment at this year's annual review has made me suspect that I am still not level.

Would I do it now? If I have evidence I am on less than my peers, then yes. Getting that evidence may be difficult; I don't know if my colleagues will be open if I ask them, because it is a social taboo to discuss pay. Let's imagine I do have evidence, and it shows I'm on less, then I would challenge it, because: I'm on the board of the company's women's association; we've been having conversations about the gender pay gap (#pledgeforparity and all that); I've already asked questions about whether they do pay reviews on a departmental or organisational level (not had an answer, mind you); I get on well enough with my manager that I know he would be okay with it in principle; I also get on well with my director, and keep hassling him about diversity and equality; I know I am the most productive and strongest performing person in our team; I get calls from recruitment consultants fairly frequently, so if it did make things difficult, I could probably go elsewhere comparatively easily.

But... you may not be in that position. Do your research - know market rates for your role or equivalent (look at sites like and If your company has a salary policy, find that out - e.g. a previous employer aimed to set salaries at the local average +10% for clerical roles, and national average +10% for professional roles. Choose your comparator(s) carefully. Be aware that putting in a claim can sour working relationships, and even if you win, may make continuing in your current position untenable, so make sure your CV is up-to-date, and be wary of mentioning your reasons for leaving to potential new employers. If you're in a union, ask them for advice before you do anything (well, doing some research and updating your CV is fine!)

Also, be aware the process has changed in the last couple of years - you used to have to submit an equal pay questionnaire; the questionnaires don't exist any more, but you can still ask the same questions it would have asked, but you'd need to check the current process.

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