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definition - equal pay act 1970

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Equal Pay Act 1970

                   
Equal Pay Act 1970

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Long title ...
Chapter 1970
Territorial extent England and Wales; Scotland
Dates
Royal Assent 1970
Status: Amended

The Equal Pay Act 1970 is an Act of the United Kingdom Parliament which prohibits any less favourable treatment between men and women in terms of pay and conditions of employment. It was passed by Parliament in the aftermath of the 1968 Ford sewing machinists strike[1][2][3][4] and came into force on 29 December 1975. The term pay is interpreted in a broad sense to include, on top of wages, things like holidays, pension rights, company perks and some kinds of bonuses. The legislation has been amended on a number of recent occasions to incorporate a simplified approach under European Union law that is common to all member states.

Contents

  Elements of a claim

For an employee to claim under this Act they must prove one of the following:

  • That the work done by the claimant is the same, or broadly the same, as the other employee.
  • That the work done by the claimant is of equal value to that of the other employee.
  • That the work done by the claimant is rated (by a job evaluation study) the same as that of the other employee.

Once the employee has established that they are employed on 'equal work' with their comparator then they are entitled to 'equal pay' unless the employer proves that the difference in pay is genuinely due to a material factor which is not the difference in gender.

  Single Status

In 1999, trades unions negotiated Single Status job evaluation, hoping that this would enforce the Equal Pay Act without needing to take numerous pay claims to industrial tribunal. Single Status was intended to establish whether jobs were of equal value, and bring in a pay model which would remove the need for equal pay claims. Jobs which had previously been classed as manual or administrative/clerical would be brought together under one payscale and one set of terms and conditions.

  Cases

  • Shield v E Coomes Holding Ltd [1978] 1 WLR 1408, claimant must prove they are in like work to an actual comparator
  • Capper Pass Ltd v Lawton [1977] QB 852, work must be 'of the same or a broadly similar nature'
  • Eaton Ltd v Nuttall [1977] 1 WLR 549, the work may be rated as equivalent under EqPA s 1(5) through a job evaluation scheme which is 'thorough in analysis and capable of impartial application'
  • Pickstone v Freemans plc [1989] AC 66, a 'token man' defance does not defeat a claim

  See also

  Notes

  1. ^ The Reunion, BBC, published 2003, accessed 2010-10-04
  2. ^ Equality Act an important milestone says Unite, Unite, 1 October 2010-10-01, accessed 2010-10-08
  3. ^ Equal pay heroes honoured, TUC, 2006-06-05
  4. ^ Women's Worth: the story of the Ford sewing machinists notes by Sue Hastings, Sue Hastings, 2006, accessed 201-10-08

  External links

  • Directive 2006/54/EC, on the equal treatment of men and women in employment regarding the definitions of direct and indirect discrimination, harassment and provisions on maternity. It comes fully into effect in August 2008, and just does a consolidating job and repeals a number of previous Directives, including 76/207/EEC and 2002/73/EC.
   
               

 

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