Equal pay

If you are not getting equal pay

You should talk to your employer to try and resolve the issue if you feel you’re not getting equal pay compared to someone who is all of the following:

  • of the opposite sex
  • does 'equal work' (work that equal pay law classes as the same, similar, equivalent or of equal value)
  • works for your employer

Checking for evidence

To help see if there’s an equal pay issue, you should check:

  • your pay and how it’s made up so you can compare it with others – for example, how much basic pay, overtime or commission you get
  • pay and benefits for people of the opposite sex doing work you think is 'equal work' for your employer

You can ask your employer or manager for information about pay and contractual terms and conditions, if you think you have an equal pay case. 

Your employer can only give you general information about other people’s pay and terms and conditions. They cannot share any personal details about other employees because of data protection law (UK GDPR).

For example, you could ask for general information about: 

  • how much people of the opposite sex who do the same or similar work as you earn
  • the contractual terms and conditions for people of the opposite sex who do the same or similar work as you
  • the reason for any differences in pay and terms and conditions, if there are any

It’s best to talk to your employer first, if you feel you can, and then put your questions in writing.

You could also ask others at work about their pay and benefits, if it’s about equal pay. For example, you could ask someone of the opposite sex who does the same or similar work how much they earn. They’re allowed to tell you, but it’s up to them to decide if they want to.

Raising an issue

It’s best to raise an issue informally first by talking to your employer. If this approach doesn’t work, you can raise the issue formally. This is known as raising a formal grievance.

If you have any evidence at this stage, it’s a good idea to share it with your employer when you raise the issue.

Making an equal pay claim

If you’re not able to resolve the problem with your employer, you might be able to make a claim to an employment tribunal for equal pay.

You might also be able to make a claim for sex discrimination, if you have been treated unfairly because of your sex.

To make an equal pay claim, you’ll need to show your pay and conditions are worse than someone else’s (a 'comparator'). The comparator must:

  • be the opposite sex to you
  • do 'equal work'
  • work for the same employer

More than one comparator can be used. A comparator can be someone who currently works for your employer, or someone who used to.

If you're not sure you're getting equal pay

Contact the Acas helpline. We can talk you through how equal pay law applies to your situation.

Find more advice on equal pay from the Equality and Human Rights Commission

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