Equal pay

Equal pay has been in the media frequently through out the year and more recently, the BBC presenter Samira Ahmed has filed a claim against the BBC.  Within her claim, she has alleged to have been paid a “sixth” of what Jeremy Vine was earning in a very similar job. 

An employment tribunal will now be considering the claim. It will look at, should Admed’s pay (for Newswatch) have been comparable with Vines (BBC One’s Points of View).  It is alleged that Ahmed received £440.00 per episode of Newswatch whereas Vine allegedly received £3,000! Ahmed’s legal team have stated Vine has earned £693,245 more than Ahmed between November 2012 and February 2019.

However, the BBC have defended their position and stated the two programmes cannot be compared. It is also said that Ahmed was paid the same as her male predecessor, Ray Snoddy.  The BBC have stated that they are committed to equal pay.

So what is equal pay?

Men and Women in the workplace must receive equal treatment which includes terms and conditions if they are employed to do

- ‘like work’ – the work that is the same or broadly similar

- work rated as equivalent under a job evaluation study 

- work found to be of equal value in terms of effort, skill or decision making.

An employee can compare the terms in the contract of employment with the comparators contract. A comparator is an employee of the opposite sex which is working for the same employer and doing like work of equal value.  The employer may defend a claim if they can show the reason for the difference is due to a genuine factor. This must not be based on the sex of the employee.

The Equality Act 2010 makes it unlawful to prevent employees from having discussions to establish if there are differences in pay. But, an employer can require their employees to keep pay rates confidential from people outside of the workplace.

The equal terms can cover all aspects of pay and benefits, including:

basic pay

overtime rates

performance related benefits

hours of work

access to pension schemes

non monetary terms

annual leave entitlements.

If an employee believes they are being discriminated against and cannot resolve the problem informally or through the grievance procedure, they may complain to an employment tribunal under the Equality Act 2010 while still working for the employer. If the employment with the employer has come to an end, the employee can still make a claim up to six months after leaving the employment.

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Authors: Roxanne Bradley

Published: 26 Nov 2019


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