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.

Explore our related content


Equal pay

Explore the legal position in the UK surrounding equal pay as well as good employment practices

Read more

Think, Act, Report

Episode 73: This episode focuses on the impact of the voluntary initiative for encouraging transparency in equal pay – Think, Act, Report. Two years on from its implementation, how is it working out?

Read more

CEO pay

Episode 93: This episode addresses the contentious issue of CEO pay, the growing gap between average workers and the top executives in an organisation and what role the HR Director could and should be playing.

Read more