Despite being almost 48 years since the Equal Pay Act was introduced, we’re still supposedly 50 to 100 years off actually reaching economic parity. Because not only do men start out on higher average graduate salaries than women, the gender pay gap widens over time throughout people’s careers.
In an attempt to bridge the gap, the Government is enforcing organisations with 250 or more workers to reveal the difference in pay between male and female employees. Only 527 firms have done this so far (with thousands more set to do so over the coming months), but the results are shocking – nearly half of the organisations included paid men at least one tenth more per hour.
So what can you do if you think a male colleague is getting paid more for the same job? Here are four suggestions from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), the professional body for HR professionals.
1. Approach Your Employer
Under the law, employers must treat men and women equally when it comes to the terms of their employment – and this includes pay. If you feel there’s a difference, you have the right to ask your employer for more information.
2. Find Out The Reason
If a male colleague is being paid more than you for doing the same job, your employer may have a defence for it. Some of the main reasons why companies pay different staff members more include performance, length of service and matching a previous salary.
3. Get Professional Advice
Once you’ve been given the reason, contact the Citizens Advice Bureau to find out whether it’s relevant or not. The law gives women the right to be paid the same as a man for ‘like’ work (where work is the same or broadly similar), so if you do the same job as your male colleague, you may be entitled to a pay rise.
4. Consider An Employment Tribunal
If your employer is refusing to pay you the same as a male colleague doing the same job, consider taking legal action. You can do this while you’re still working at the organisation or up to six months after you’ve left. If you win your case, your employer will be forced to raise your pay to match your male colleagues’.