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Equal Pay

02 March 2017

Equal pay law first developed in the UK in the 1970s after a campaign by trade unions and women’s groups. It is now a basic principle of European law that men and women who do equal work should receive equal pay. This principle is implemented in the UK today through the Equality Act 2010.

This inbrief provides a general summary of the main features of equal pay law and highlights some practical issues for employers.

We refer in this inbrief to a woman bringing an equal pay claim by comparing herself with a male colleague, but the principles apply equally in reverse – a man can also bring an equal pay claim based on a comparison with a female colleague.

The Equality Act 2010 now refers to equal pay as “equality of terms”, but everyone still tends to refer to it as equal pay.

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