Key points


Employers must give men and women equal treatment in the terms and conditions of their employment contract if they are employed to do:


  • 'like work' - work that is the same or broadly similar
  • work rated as equivalent under a job evaluation study (see: Recruitment)
  • work found to be of equal value in terms of effort, skill or decision making.



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

Employees are also entitled to know how their pay is made up. For example, if there is a bonus system, everyone should know how to earn bonuses and how they are calculated.

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