Who is This Toolkit For?

The toolkit has been put together to help workers determine whether there is a problem with equal pay in their workplace and to signpost them to where they can get help to resolve the issue. It has been developed by trade unions and academics with support from lawyers and HR specialists.

It supports trade union representatives to negotiate with their employer around specific workplace practices and make adjustments to existing policies such as pay, recruitment, family leave, flexible working and so on; as well as explaining why it is important to carry out ‘horizontal’ pay audits and how to undertake one.

The toolkit also offers a starting point for trade union activists to start conversations with members about pay inequality in the workplace, to build a campaign and negotiate improvements.

If there are examples where workers are being paid unequally because of sex discrimination then they should be supported in filing equal pay claims. These examples are a clear indication that the structure of the organisation is flawed and needs to be altered so that everyone can have confidence that they are being paid equally and fairly.

Ideally, you would want to change the way that your organisation works so that paying people unequally due to sex discrimination would not be possible.

More than fifty years after the first law on equal pay was passed, too many women are still not paid on equal terms with men doing equal work. The gender pay gap is not closing fast enough and men continue to be paid more on average than women in too many workplaces.

This toolkit focuses on pay equality between men and women because there is currently a legal framework that employers are compelled to abide by and through which they can be challenged if they fail to pay equally. However, the tools can also be applied more broadly where inequality concerns race, disability and/or sexuality.

You can mix and match from the toolkit and adapt it to suit your individual circumstances or particular workplace.

This toolkit is designed to help identify if there is a problem with equal pay in your workplace and to work through whether this is something you can resolve yourself or, if you need to get help, it sets out how you can do this with your trade union.