Following the recent Supreme Court decision that shop floor and distribution centre workers are comparable for an equal pay claim, what does this mean for employers?
First and foremost, the decision doesn’t mean that (largely female) shop floor workers have now won the right to equal pay. What it does mean though is that (largely male) distribution workers are legitimate comparators for the claim.
Employers should take note as this decision opens up the possibility for comparisons to be made between roles that on the surface are different. Here are a few proactive steps to consider:
Audit – carrying out an equal pay audit will provide a clear picture of your pay scales and help create consistency in setting terms and conditions. Ensure that people who do the same work have the same job titles, pay, and job descriptions that reflect the work they do. We can support you to carry out an audit – get in touch.
Job evaluation – if different roles are graded higher or paid more than another, carrying out a job evaluation process will help you to provide objective justification and reasons for any differences in pay (particularly important if the workforce in areas of the business are predominantly male or female).
Keep a record – historic events (such as a TUPE transfer) may have caused differences in pay in parts of your business. Keeping a robust record of these reasons will help justify any differences should a challenge arise.
The case is far from its conclusion – we’ll keep you up to date with developments and ensure you have the practical detail. Get in touch if you need to discuss further.