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Discussing pay with colleagues- is it legal?

(14 Posts)
NaturalBlondeYeahRight Fri 27-May-16 13:39:23

Annual reviews out. Lots of unhappy faces at work. We are all asked individually not to discuss with work mates but I'm sure you are allowed.
I'm a bit bolshie and think there's strength in numbers as far as pay rises go.
Can someone clarify it for me?
Council employees if it makes any difference.

kimlo Fri 27-May-16 13:44:21

Its against policy where I work but its jot illegal.

NapQueen Fri 27-May-16 13:47:46

Depends. It's a pointless exercise if your pay is performance related or connected to length of service.

At my place you have different pay from someone doing the same job as the pay rises in line with length of service. Then you are given targets so that also affects your pay rise. Unless I started the same year as my colleague, had the same qualifications, and reached my targets to the same level she met hers then our pay would be different anyways

RaeSkywalker Fri 27-May-16 13:47:46

Where I work, discussing salaries is against policy (and in my contract). If you do and they find out, it's a disciplinary offence. This has been the case in all my jobs.

Fuckthisforausername Fri 27-May-16 13:52:32

I thought they made it illegal to prevent people discussing pay.. I'll check.

AnchorDownDeepBreath Fri 27-May-16 13:55:08

Is it in your contract?

It's a common clause. If it led to a disciplinary, it would be an easy way for them to justify not giving you a pay rise, too - because you've then been subject to disciplinary action.

AyeAmarok Fri 27-May-16 13:56:25

At my employer it's "against policy" to discuss pay.

But that it's because they have people doing the same job, at the same level, with the same qualifications and experience getting paid different amounts because some of the team go out to the pub most days with the manager and are "pals". And obviously they don't want that to be discovered.

It's not illegal. And not being transparent about pay leads to discrimination in pay, IME. So I think we should all talk about pay more openly, then things will be more fair.

Fuckthisforausername Fri 27-May-16 13:58:00

The Equality Act 2010 made it illegal to enforce pay secrecy and any such clauses in your contract are unenforceable. Go google it.

MummyBex1985 Fri 27-May-16 19:04:42

But pay secrecy clauses are only unlawful in cases where gender is the main issue.

Discussing pay for any reason other than gender imbalance can theoretically be stopped by employers.

Floppityflop Fri 27-May-16 19:09:58

I had a pay secrecy clause in my contract. It was only when my new team leader told me that my bonus and pay rise were so big to make up for being paid less than my male colleague that I found out...

DoinItFine Fri 27-May-16 19:11:05

It is definitely legal to discuss pay and possibly illegal to be banned from discussing pay with colleagues.

There are no good reasons for stopping employees from talking about their pay.

Only dodgy ones.

NaturalBlondeYeahRight Fri 27-May-16 19:37:10

Well that's what I would imagine doingit and let's face it, public sector workers aren't exactly raking it in.
I can't find a definitive answer for general conversations on Google (rather than equality)
Let me change it slightly. Would you discuss it with co-workers that are also (now) friends.

Crisscrosscranky Fri 27-May-16 21:26:16

I wouldn't. What if you find out that your colleague (friend) earns £1,000 a year more than you? You challenge your line manager and a) your line manager doesn't trust you or your colleague (friend) with confidential information b) your line manager tells you that your colleague (friend) is a better worker because of x, y,z... How does that make you feel? Do you think it'll make you more likely to get a payrise next year?

As long as your employer isn't discriminating on grounds of protected characteristics they can pay what they like to who they like - you accept the salary or you leave/

EBearhug Fri 27-May-16 22:25:17

I discussed it with a colleague quite recently - we do get on well, and we do the same role, and comments made by my manager when he was announcing my payrise in a 1-2-1 made me suspect there is a gap. So (about a month after I first thought about asking), when colleague and I were alone, I asked him, what his salary is, from an equality perspective, as I'm the only woman in the department. There is about a 13% difference, and as I'm more productive (and the one good thing about their micromanagement is that I can prove that,) and better qualified and similar experience, as it's meant to be performance-related, I should be on at least the same, if not more - however, I'm not making a fuss just now, as I'm about to start a secondment to another department. One fight at a time.

I did ask about pay at a previous company, having found out a more junior colleague was on more than me. The response I got then was that discussing pay was a sackable offence, which closed the conversation. This would have been around 1999/2000. When the department was pay audited a couple of years later, I got a 26% rise to level me up, so I was right to have questioned it.

Totally agree there should be more pay transparency.

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