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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
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My fellow worker was seconded from Sweden on a 1 year contract

Resolved Question:

My fellow worker was seconded from Sweden on a 1 year contract to train UK workers, in his package he got his Rent paid and also 3 flights home .Now he has decided he would like to stay for another 2 years under the same contract, which the rest of feel is unfair as it gives him a salary of 12K more than us and we have a feeling he may want to extend this time even further, can our employer do this
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.
Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. was this position originally advertised internally before your colleague was seconded in to the position
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The Position was not advertised,we are global company nd UK decided to start a design department, we employed 3 UK designers, but they needed training on the program global used, so it was decided that for 1 yer a designer from Swden would come and do the training. His contract is up in August but he has decided he likes the UK and would like to stay on the same terms for 2 or maybe3 or maybe 5 years


Our MD is considering this, but myself and Senior staff think it unfair for him to have his Rent and flights paid for all this time, that would give him equal to 12K more a year than us


 

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.
Ok thank you leave it with me I need to look up a few things and then get my advice ready.I will post back on here when done there is no need to wait and you will receive an email when I have responded.
I am leaving work soon I have to travel home from London so should get back to you with my advice on this later this evening
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.
Thanks for your patience. 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 hope this has answered your query. Please take a second to leave a positive rating, or if you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
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