BRAIN FOOD: Workplace rights - Equal payback time

BRAIN FOOD: Workplace rights - Equal payback time - The right for women and men to receive equal pay for equal work is under the spotlight. Following a recent change in the law, workers can use questionnaires to get information from their employer about colleagues' remuneration packages. Organisations operating opaque 'discretionary' bonus schemes will be vulnerable to discrimination claims. Meanwhile, the Government is in a flap about equal pay because of a legal ruling that could have big ramifications for the civil service. A tribunal has decided that employees in one department can bring claims comparing themselves with opposite-sex staff in others, since the Treasury has ultimate control over the terms and conditions of all civil servants. The implications for departments that have developed their own reward systems are dire. The Government, anxious to avoid Whitehall pay structures being thrown into chaos, is likely to appeal.

by Michael Burd and James Davies, Lewis Silkin solicitors, e-mail:employment@lewissilkin.com
Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013

The right for women and men to receive equal pay for equal work is under the spotlight. Following a recent change in the law, workers can use questionnaires to get information from their employer about colleagues' remuneration packages. Organisations operating opaque 'discretionary' bonus schemes will be vulnerable to discrimination claims. Meanwhile, the Government is in a flap about equal pay because of a legal ruling that could have big ramifications for the civil service. A tribunal has decided that employees in one department can bring claims comparing themselves with opposite-sex staff in others, since the Treasury has ultimate control over the terms and conditions of all civil servants. The implications for departments that have developed their own reward systems are dire. The Government, anxious to avoid Whitehall pay structures being thrown into chaos, is likely to appeal.

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