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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 50158
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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I have been working for a company for over 12 years. For the

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I have been working for a company for over 12 years. For the first 6 years with my yearly review it was determined if I had deserved a Pay rise or not. When the recession started I was told pay rises would stop for a couple of years, at least.
Because I got a pay rise every year in my first 6 years, my hourly rate is above the minimum pay rate. However, since the minimum wage has come in, my colleagues have had the annual rise. It has been 6 years now since my last rise and have been told I won't get another one until the minimum rate catches up.
Is it right that a colleague with lesser experience gets a rise, even though it is the minimum wage, whereas mine has been static for 6 years.
Many thanks
Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Is a pay rise a contractual entitlement you have?


Hi Ben, No, A pay rise isn't a contractual entitlement.


Ben, You are asking for a rating, yet you have not replied to my previous message.

Ben Jones :

Hi, sorry the system seems to be sending automated messages asking for ratings. I could not reply before now as I was offline when you replied and have only just returned.

Going back to your question, unfortunately what the employer is doing is not illegal. There is no legal right to receive a pay rise and this is something which is usually either governed by your contract, which is not the case here, or left at the employer’s discretion.

When it comes to the law on equal pay, that is also 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.

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.

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


Ben, I expected as much. Thanks for your response.

Ben Jones :

you are most welcome, all the best

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