Many thanks for your patience. This will not be an equal pay matter. The law on equal pay is actually 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, inclusive of bonuses or commission, 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.
Instead, this would be a potential breach of contract matter. If your contract specifies the remuneration entitlement you get and how the bonus/commission is to be calculated and the employer does not follow these policies, then that could amount to a breach of contract. However, if the rules are not that specific and left for the employer to interpret and apply, then it would be more difficult to argue.
This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the options you have should there be a breach of contract issue, which I wish to discuss so please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far (by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars) and I can continue with that and answer any further questions you may have. Don’t worry, there is no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you