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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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I have found out that new employees doing the same job as

Customer Question

For Ben Jones. I have found out that new employees doing the same job as me. Same job title, same job description are being paid over £6000 more than me or my colleagues who have been in the company a long time. 9 years in my case. I have challenged them and received a long winded reply about how they are justifying it. I am very stressed anyway but have lost faith and loyalty in the company. It is a very big private healthcare company that has nearly driven me into the ground with workload over the last 9 years. They are willing to discuss it further but I can't see the benefit. I am struggling to make myself do the job as the stress has built up over several years and won't go away at the flick of a switch. I plan to retire in November but don't think I can carry on. What do you advise? I feel I should go sick, which my GP has suggested recently as I am just making myself I'll.
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 6 months ago.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 6 months 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.

Whilst going off sick may be something you wish to do if you feel uneasy about this, in the circumstances you will not be able to force the employer to pay y the same unless yu can show the above discriminatory exceptions apply.

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

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 6 months ago.

My full response should be visible on this page. Could you please let me know if it has answered your original question or whether you need me to clarify anything else in relation to this? If your query has been answered I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating, selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page. Thank you

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 6 months ago.

Hello, do you need any further assistance or are you happy with the above response? Look forward to hearing from you.

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