Equal Pay Strike in Glasgow - Requirement for Fair Pay Practices

Equal Pay Strike in Glasgow - Requirement for Fair Pay Practices

  • Date: Tuesday 30th October 2018
  • PDF: Download

The recent two-day strike by 8,000 workers in Glasgow in a dispute over equal pay should further highlight to all employers the consequences of not reviewing and updating pay structures in line with equality and diversity policies.

The strike consisted primarily of female cleaners who are paid up to £3-an-hour less than men in broadly equivalent roles in Glasgow such as bin collecting and street sweeping. The potential back payments are thought to total hundreds of millions of pounds. It is thought to have been the largest ever Equal Pay strike in history.

Equal pay has been part of UK sex discrimination law for the past 40 years. It is the right for men and women to be paid the same for the same, or equivalent, work and now covered under the Equality Act 2010.

How should employees ensure they are meeting Equal Pay obligations?

Employers should conduct an annual equal pay audit to help ensure they meet their duty under the Equality Act 2010 by paying employees equal pay for equal work. 

What is an Equal Pay Audit?

This is an audit to compare the pay of employees who are performing equal work to determine if there is a pay gap due to sex (or another protected characteristic).

How do I conduct an Equal Pay Audit?

  1. List all the roles in the organisation
  2. Determine which jobs within the organisation are equal (consider using representatives from within the workforce to assist with this)
  3. Once equal jobs are determined establish whether or not there is equal pay for equal work by listing all employees by their role and by hourly rates of pay.  Is there a difference between the average pay for equal work?
  4. If the finding is that there is unequal pay for equal work determine if this is due to sex
  5. Review bonus and commissions schemes to ensure fairness and consistency
  6. Make a plan to provide equal pay for equal work (e.g. consider an equal pay policy, ensure offers for new hires / promotions fit the pay structure you want to achieve and train managers to make decisions that do not discriminate on the basis of gender)

Note: Since April 2018 there has been a duty in place for employers of 250 or more people to complete and publish an annual Gender Pay Gap Report.

Source: Gavin Parrott, SSG

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