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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 45349
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I have been in my employment years and have found out

Customer Question

I have been in my employment for 16 years and have found out that other staff with the same job as me, and have only been with the firm 4-5 years are on higher pay. Where do I stand legally?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello, my name is***** am a qualified solicitor and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Do you know why there is a difference in pay?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
There is no other reason other than the director who interviewed and employed just plucked the salaries out of the air, he has since left. Everyone in admin is on a different rate depending on when they were employed, as I was employed by the charity years ago I started on a low salary and when other people were employed later they were offered a higher rate. There is no pay scale for office employees.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
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. I'm sorry if this is not necessarily the answer you were hoping for, however I do have a duty to be honest and explain the law as it actually stands. This does mean delivering bad news from time to time. I hope you understand and would be happy to provide any further clarification if needed. If you are still satisfied with the level of service you have received I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page. Thank you
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 45349
Experience: Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
Ben Jones and other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I do appreciate you clarifying the law and now of course I will not take further action. It is so wrong but there is no recall on the matter. All the employees are women in my office, so there is no gender discrimination. Thank you for enlightening me on my position.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
You are welcome and all the best

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