Equal pay claim - London weighting

(16 Posts)
AuContraire Thu 05-Nov-20 18:29:38

Hi everyone,

I am not being paid the same as the men I work with in my role and am trying to work out the (potential) justifications.

Does anyone know whether a London weighting is paid in addition to a salary?

Or can they just use London weighting as their justification if it just so happens the person is based in London (but they could have actually been anywhere).

Not sure if I'm explaining what I'm asking very clearly, sorry.

What I'm asking is, if

- person X, female, is in Bradford on 30k,
- person Y, female is in Manchester is on 30k, and
- person Z, male, is in London and on 35k,

Would it have to say in person Z's contract that the extra is London weighting, or can they just pay him extra and then, when challenged on equal pay, say it's because he is in London and they just factored a London weighting into his salary without stipulating explicitly that that is what it is, and use that as a defence?

OP’s posts: |
HarrietPotterska Thu 05-Nov-20 18:34:07

Yes, to be fair that sounds correct for London weighting.

HermioneWeasley Thu 05-Nov-20 18:37:39

Yes, location is a non sex based defence against an equal pay claim. £35k in London is worth a LOT less than £30k in Manchester or Bradford.

LadyMSM Thu 05-Nov-20 18:40:12

It is genuinely only 5k? If its actually something like 20k+ id query it but 5k more for living and working in london id think the others had a better deal

Whats the actual figures?

Sexnotgender Thu 05-Nov-20 18:43:16

Actual figures would be useful as I wouldn’t quibble over £5k if the other person is in London.

AuContraire Thu 05-Nov-20 18:43:38

Sorry, I know that it is a fair justification for paying more, my question is, does an employer have to, at the outset, put it in a person's contract that there is a London weighting included. And so this amount or % would apply to all the London roles, or if it's just by chance that the one London person is male can they get out of paying the women elsewhere less by saying it's because of London (even if it's not actually the reason for the higher pay in the first place, but is just later being used as justification).

The figures are made up, BTW, just using it as an example.

OP’s posts: |
AuContraire Thu 05-Nov-20 18:52:31

The initial reason for the extra pay was that the role was a fixed-term contract as cover, rather than a full time role. It was then changed to a full-time role on the same terms.

OP’s posts: |
JuliaJohnston Thu 05-Nov-20 18:56:16

The salary will be weighted for London, it doesn't have to be specifically broken down. Lots of salaries are advertised as £X (including London weighting).

AuContraire Thu 05-Nov-20 19:04:19

So the salary doesn't actually have to say the "including London weighting" part in order for it to be used as a defence, is that right Julia?

OP’s posts: |
HermioneWeasley Thu 05-Nov-20 19:09:25

No, the contract doesn’t have to specify London weighting or specify what proportion is due to London allowance, they just need to demonstrate that the market rate for the same job is higher in London.

JuliaJohnston Thu 05-Nov-20 19:09:49

To be honest, people can negotiate salaries for the same role; not all employees doing similar roles are paid equally, and that's not unlawful.
If the men in question are based in London and you're not, it'll be extremely difficult to counter that argument.

AuContraire Thu 05-Nov-20 19:17:58

That's what I thought.

Thank you for confirming. Not what I wanted to hear! But what I expected. sad

They have well and truly screwed me over in a number of ways due to pregnancy and maternity and I'm really annoyed about it, but I'm either out of time for the blatant stuff or they have an "excuse" (eg London) for the other bits.

OP’s posts: |
CovidClara Thu 05-Nov-20 23:49:49

My previous employer had Bradford and London employees (and other places). No London weighting as such but a £60k-70k job in Bradford would be £100-110k in London.

Hoppinggreen Fri 06-Nov-20 10:44:50

I think this is very interesting as it’s going to be more of an issue going forward. I recently left a company where I found out the rest of the team were on a lot more than me (pro rata as I was the only one PT). When I queried it I was told it was due to London Weighting - but everyone is WFH now for the foreseeable future. So Is LW based on where you live or work? Will people employ people to wfh who live outside London if they can pay less?

AuContraire Fri 06-Nov-20 14:23:02

Well yes, the roles are all now homeworking roles anyway and will be for ever, most likely.

OP’s posts: |
throwaway10000 Fri 06-Nov-20 14:29:45

Regardless of WFH, London weighting will still stand due to the higher cost of living.

Some employers will pay new employees what they can get away with - if they can low ball people in the north then perhaps they will🤷🏼‍♀️ I wouldn’t think it will soon be commonplace that employers will chose non-Londoner hires over Londoners though. The coronavirus situation isn’t necessarily permanent so it’s too early to say.

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