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I have recently discovered I am paid less than my male colleague (I am female) on the same team doing exactly the same work. We both started within a few weeks of each other (the early part of 2012) and neither of us has had a performance pay rise yet as these are due soon.


I queried the discrepancy with HR who said my colleague scored higher in one aspect of the interview than I did and this may account for any discrepancies in pay. As they operate pay banding they don't feel I am being discriminated against. However, my colleague had no previous office experience whereas I have several years of experience, and I also have higher qualifications. I don't expect to be paid more for doing the same job, but neither do I expect to be paid less.


If I go down the grievance route I fear this would not help my future prospects (and this has been confirmed by my line manager).


My question is, can the rate of starting pay be solely based on scoring at interview regardless of previous experience, and how does this sit with equal pay for equal jobs?

Edited by recompense41
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Starting rate of pay may also be based on "he asked for more and you didn't." That's the most common reason.

Never assume anyone on the internet is who they say they are. Only rely on advice from insured professionals you have paid for!

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Thank you for your comments.


I did try to negotiate when I was offered the role, but I was told that was the pay for that job, take it or leave it basically. I was also told 'we don't pay for the person, we pay for the job.'

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There is no such thing as "equal pay for equal jobs". Employers can use whatever criteria they want, as long as they do not discriminate against a protected characteristic (gender, race, religion and so on).


To have legal redress you would need to prove that gender is the reason why you are getting paid less. There are a number of other reasons why he might be getting more - better qualified, did better in interview, negotiated harder, wore nice deodorant, high-fived his interviewer ... some of these would be unfair reasons but they are not necessarily discriminatory and hence legal.


I think this could form part of a wider discrimination case if you had other evidence, but by itself it is not enough to warrant taking things legal. You could raise a grievance but this probably won't achieve anything and you should avoid making serious accusations of discrimination in a grievance unless you are sure.


At least this is good negotiating material. I guess it is worth asking for a pay rise at your next pay review.




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