The Equal Pay Act (1970) and Equal Pay (Amendment) Regulations (1983) require employers to give male and female workers equal pay for work of equal value. For the purposes of the Act 'pay' includes not just wages or salary, but the following terms and conditions of employment:

  • holiday pay/leave entitlements;
  • profit related pay;
  • profit sharing;
  • contractual bonuses;
  • share options;
  • subsidised loans and mortgages;
  • company car and car/petrol allowances;
  • telephone allowances;
  • private medical insurance and life assurance;
  • free or subsidised accommodation;
  • staff discounts and other subsidies;
  • nursery or childcare facilities.

The principles of equal pay also extend to:

  • discretionary bonuses;
  • discretionary travel facilities;
  • sick pay (whether contractual or statutory);
  • compensation for unfair dismissal;
  • redundancy payments (contractual or otherwise);
  • severance pay;
  • notice pay (including payments made by the Secretary of State if the employer is insolvent);
  • paid time-off to attend external course and conferences, such as trade union and training conferences (whether made under statutory regulation or otherwise);
  • systems or rules used to determine pay progression.

An employee may make an equal pay claim to a tribunal either during his or her employment or within six months of the termination of employment (within six years if the claim is being made in a civil court). 

Until April 2014 there was a statutory questionnaire that a female employee could use to question her employer about any pay disparity between her and a man performing equal work. This questionnaire has now been abolished, but the employee may still write to her employer asking the same questions that you would have put in the questionnaire.

Gender pay reporting legislation requires employers with 250 or more employees to publish statutory calculations every year showing how large the pay gap is between their male and female employees.