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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 44957
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Hi I am a woman who has been working for an employer for nearly

Customer Question

Hi I am a woman who has been working for an employer for nearly 9 years, exactly 108 months. 78 of those months, 72% of my time has been spent on project secondments but I have still only had the salary, title and grade/band of my “day job”. The project secondments mean I am doing the same roles as men who are on grade above me with more money & company car. My secondment contract does state I get terms & conditions from permanent day job I was employed for. But as I have only done that day job for 30% of my time, do I have any cause to complain?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

Ben Jones :

What are you hoping to achieve in this situation?

JACUSTOMER-r7wbo3fr- :

I'd like to know if the employer have treat me unfairly in any way? I feel used and taken advantage of. I think if they I am skilled enough to do the project roles with people who are on a higher grade than me, they should pay me similarly. I am wondering if they are able to keep me on lower salary & grade when I've actually only done that job that they pay me for, for only 30% of my time here

Ben Jones :

so you believe you are being paid less, but is it because of your gender?

JACUSTOMER-r7wbo3fr- :

I dont think it is because of that, but I thought that was worth pointing out that the men doing exact same job as me are already paid more & on higher status.......its more can they pay me a salary for a role that I've only done 30% of time.........If majority of my time in employment has been at a higher level than my current grade, is there any precedent to say they have to pay me more in line with the job I do for majority of time

JACUSTOMER-r7wbo3fr- :

The men were managers in their day jobs so already on higher grade, I have been seconded to projects where I do same role as them, but only get paid salary for my day job so I am effectively doing same job for less money & status. 2008 was the last time I was doing the day job they pay me for

Ben Jones :

The law on equal pay is frequently misunderstood. Many workers believe that there is a right to equal pay across the workforce, especially for workers that perform the same or similar jobs.

However, the reality is that employers are free to pay their employees whatever they want, as long as it is above the current National Minimum Wage and in accordance with the employee's contract of employment. It is not generally unlawful to pay employees doing the same or similar jobs different rates. The only time this would be an issue is if the reasons for the difference in pay is discriminatory, due to a difference in gender. The relevant law was originally brought in to deal with the fact that many women were being paid less than their male colleagues for doing the same job.

Whilst this protection still applies, to be successful in a claim you must show that the reason for being paid less is actually gender-related. It is no good claiming that you are being paid less than someone else, unless it can be shown that the reasons for this difference in pay is due to gender.

Even if there was evidence that the reasons for the difference in pay may be gender-related, the employer could still try and rely on the 'genuine material factor' defence to defend any equal pay claim. This would occur where the employer can show that the difference in pay is due to:



  • Past performance

  • Seniority or length of service

  • Different hours of work

  • Geographical differences

  • Different skills, qualifications and experience

  • Pay protection following job re-grading


So unless there were discriminatory reasons for the difference in pay, there is nothing illegal in paying different rates even if the workers are performing the same job. I agree that is appears unfair and morally wrong, but unfortunately it is not illegal.

JACUSTOMER-r7wbo3fr- :

Thanks - what about the 70/30 split in the job I've been doing?

Ben Jones :

it won't affect your rights on pay

JACUSTOMER-r7wbo3fr- :

Is that final answer & can I do rating now?

JACUSTOMER-r7wbo3fr- :

So there are no laws around secondments? They can basically keep seconding me to higher roles but only pay me for the job title I havent done since 2008?

JACUSTOMER-r7wbo3fr- :

Hello?

JACUSTOMER-r7wbo3fr- :

It won't let me do the rating until you have finished your answer

JACUSTOMER-r7wbo3fr- :

Is this just a con to get me £18? Why won't it let me rate?

Ben Jones :

Hi sorry I was offline by the time you had replied. There is no law that says you must be paid higher pay for secondments even if those doing the same job get paid that. Similarly there is nothing in ;law that says you must be given a pay rise after a number of years. All of this is governed by contracts and the agreement between you and the employer - if you have been offered a secondment and you disagree with the pay on offer then you do not take the secondment. The only time you can ask for equal pay is if the reasons for the difference are related to discrimination.

Ben Jones :

Hope this clarifies your position? If you could please let me know that would be great, thank you

JACUSTOMER-r7wbo3fr- :

Thanks, ***** ***** wont let me rate

Ben Jones :

Apologies for that, there is a bug in the system which we sometimes get and it prevents you from posting your rating. Instead, you can just type your selection on here (e.g. OK, Good, Excellent) then we will process it manually later. Thank you

JACUSTOMER-r7wbo3fr- :

hmmm when will system be fixed?

Ben Jones :

This has been an ongoing problem for a while but customer services can manually process the rating if needed

JACUSTOMER-r7wbo3fr- :

Then in that case I leave rating as Poor

Ben Jones :

ok, can I clarify anything for you, your question was answered and I understand it is not what you want to hear but there is little I can do to change the law

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