Equal pay audits are used by trade unions to demand that no group be disadvantaged on pay due to a protected characteristic.

Under the Equality Act 2010, protected characteristics are defined as:

age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, and sexual orientation.

Employers also routinely use equal pay audits to prove that their workplace is free from pay discrimination.

This section is designed to give trade union reps and workers an understanding of the role that they can play in conducting an equal pay audit.

A five-step process for this is outlined below. You may find that your trade union has also published guidance on this and that you can gain support for conducting an audit from officials within your regional or national office. Links to useful resources are included throughout this guide and in this section of the Toolkit.