A recent case has demonstrated the importance of employers ensuring they adhere to Equal Pay legislation.
It is being reported in the media that a NatWest employee has been ordered to receive £150,000 in compensation after issuing an Employment Tribunal claim for Equal Pay.
It is understood the employee worked as a female support analyst in the Bank’s technology division.
The employee claimed she earned around £31,000 per annum less than her male counterpart and that in one instance she received a £300 pay increase compared to a £3,000 bonus for her equal male colleague. The female employee also claimed she had less favourable benefits packages than those of her male colleagues.
It is further understood the female employee raised the pay difference with management who she claims failed to address the issue.
After raising her grievance in June 2017, the female employee was made redundant by the Bank in November 2017; further to which she issued Employment Tribunal proceedings against Natwest for Equal Pay.
It is reported that this female worker was offered £150,000 to settle her case in October 2018 if she agreed to a confidentiality clause; which she refused to do.
The case was finally settled three days ahead of an Employment Tribunal Final Hearing after NatWest’s owner RBS ceased to pursue the requirement for a confidentiality clause.
NatWest have denied the company discriminated against the female employee because of her gender.
The union, Unite has warned RBS could be facing a significant number of equal pay claims from other female employees who have potentially been underpaid.
This case and the wide publicity around it serves as a stark reminder to employers to take a fair approach of setting pay and career progression and to not pay colleagues differently for doing the same job because of gender.
The law on equal pay is set out in the ‘equality of terms’ provisions of the Equality Act 2010. The Act gives a right to equal pay between women and men for equal work. This covers individuals in the same employment, and includes equality in pay and all other contractual terms. The Act implies a sex equality clause automatically into all contracts of employment, ensuring that a woman’s contractual terms are no less favourable than a man’s.
Pay includes the complete pay and benefits package which extends to basic pay, non-discretionary bonuses, overtime rates and allowances, performance-related benefits, severance and redundancy pay, access to pension schemes, benefits under pension schemes, hours of work, company cars, sick pay, fringe benefits such as travel allowances, and benefits in kind.
Farleys employment law team are specialists in employment law and HR advice for employers. We can provide bespoke commercial employment law and HR advice and support to employers on a wide range of matters including gender pay gap reporting, the Equality Act 2010; discrimination, equal pay, grievances, contracts of employment and staff handbooks.
Contact Farleys’ Employment Law and HR team on 0845 287 0939 or email us.