The key legislation covering equal pay is the Equality Act 2010.

The principle of ‘equal pay for equal work’ originates with European legislation. UK courts and tribunals must therefore interpret the Equality Act and other legislation in a way that is consistent with EU legislation.

UK and EU equal pay legislation has historically been very complex and the Equality Act has not simplified equal pay issues to any significant extent.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission has published a comprehensive Code of practice on equal pay for England, Scotland and Wales. It:

  • provides detailed explanations of the equal pay provisions in the Equality Act
  • applies the legal concepts to everyday situations
  • does not impose legal obligations or give an authoritative statement of the law, but can be used in evidence in equal pay claims.

What is gender pay gap reporting and is it compulsory?

What are equal pay audits and what guidance is available?

What are the effects of secrecy (gagging) clauses preventing employees from discussing their pay?

Who does the right to equal pay apply to?

What is the basis of an equal pay claim?

How can an individual enforce their rights regarding equal pay?

How do the Equality Act 2010 equal pay provisions work in practice?

What acts do the equal pay provisions of the Equality Act 2010 cover?

Who is a suitable comparator in an equal pay claim?

Can a comparison be made with a predecessor or successor in an equal pay claim and what happens if there is no comparator?

Is there a limit on the number of comparators that can be used in an equal pay claim?

Can an employee claim both sex discrimination and breach of the sex equality clause relating to a discrepancy in pay?

What should an employer do if faced with a contingent equal pay claim from male employees?

How can employers defend equal pay claims?

What is the material factor defence in an equal pay claim?

What remedies does the equal pay legislation provide for a breach of the sex equality clause and what are the relevant time limits?

Can questionnaires be used in equal pay cases?

Future developments

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