There is long standing legislation in place which affords the right, to men or women, to claim pay equal to that of a person of the opposite sex who carries out the same job, in other words, there should be equality.

There is also legislation to enable employees to claim that their work is equal in value to that of a person of the opposite sex.

Over the years, equal pay provisions have included the total pay 'package' received by employees. Equal pay must be ensured in both the overall assessment of the pay and in consideration of each aspect of that payment taken in isolation.

The Equal Pay Act applies to women and men of any age, including children. It also applies to people who are 'employees' in the sense required for other employment rights, such as the right not to be unfairly dismissed, but also to other people who are engaged under a contract personally to execute work or labour.

There is also a range of defences that an employer can use to argue against the contention that equal pay should be applied in a particular situation.

Employees who believe that they are entitled to equal pay, as compared with the pay afforded to a person of the opposite sex, can serve an equal pay questionnaire before deciding to bring a claim before an Employment Tribunal for a remedy.

The equal pay provisions are now in inextricably linked with the sex discrimination

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