“I think I’m being paid less than my colleagues because I’m a woman – what can I do about it?” – our lawyer explains all

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I keep reading about the gender pay gap but I don’t understand how people know if it’s affecting them. I work at a call centre and someone told me the male managers earn more than the women. Can I force the firm to say what they are paying people?

Sam, Macclesfield

 

ALYS Says

Unfortunately the Government has made getting information that little bit harder. Until 2014, staff could submit formal requests to obtain information where they believed their employer might have breached the Equality Act.

The statutory process provided a form and the law stated tribunals could draw conclusions from an employer’s failure to comply.

This allowed an employee who believed they were receiving unequal pay to get the key facts before raising a grievance.

This statutory process was axed as part of the Tory Government’s cutting of red tape for businesses.You can still ask your employer questions about equal pay and, while they aren’t obliged to respond, it’s good practice to do so.

Your request should be in writing and there is an ACAS guidance document entitled Asking and Responding to Issues of Discrimination in the Workplace.

You could also ask male staff directly what they are paid and, as you’d be requesting this to see if there is pay inequality, the employer shouldn’t penalise either of you.