Equal Pay Act 1970 – employment regulations stipulates that
men and women should be paid the same for doing ‘like work, work which is rated
as equivalent and work of equal value’, providing they work for the same
employer or the same group of companies (Taylor
and Wilkinson, 2017). ‘Like work’ is generally described as those which are
broadly similar in nature and are therefore considered to be doing like for
like work. ‘Work rated as equivalent’ involves a lot more clarification and is
generally described when an employer carries out a job evaluation system where
a numerical rating is given for specific skills and knowledge needed to carry
out the role in question. It is based on this grading system that staff are
paid regarding what grade they fall within. This in turn will mean, that even
though two jobs may be completely different, the level of skill and knowledge
required to carry out the role fall within the same grade, meaning they should
both be paid equal amounts. Work of equal value however applies to situations
when the effort and level of skill and experience required is largely equal to
Itemised pay – employees have the right to be given an
itemised pay statement showing their gross pay and any deductions made – net
pay should also be included.
Unauthorised deductions in pay – employees have the right
not to have any unauthorised deductions made from their pay. There is however
circumstances where an employer can make deductions without the consent of the
worker, for example, to recover overpayments in wage etc.
The National Minimum Wage and the National Living Wage –
all employees have the right to be paid no less than the National Minimum Wage
or Living Wage. This is put in place to improve living standards for low paid
workers and is set out into four age categories.
Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) and Statutory Paternity Pay
(SPP) – the law sets out the minimum sum that must be paid to all employees
that are unable to work due to taking maternity or paternity leave. All
employers are required to pay the minimum amount, however it is down to each
individual organisation whether they choose to go beyond this and pay for
longer periods of time.
Maternity leave is provided to women via Ordinary Maternity
Leave (OML) and Additional Maternity Leave (AML) – both are for a period of 26
weeks. For all those women who meet the requirements of (OML), they are also
entitled to (AML). All women are therefore provided with a 52 week period of
leave entitlement. Once a women returns to work from (OML), she is entitled to
come back on the same terms and conditions. For all those returning after
(AML), women are entitled to return to a job with a very similar position
unless this is not practically reasonable. Adoption Leave is very much the same
as Maternity Leave in that it entitles an employee to take Statutory Adoption
Leave of up to 52 weeks; this is a combination of Ordinary Adoption Leave and
Additional Adoption Leave.
Paternity Leave is put in place to cover employees whose
partners have given birth/ adopted a child. This provides an entitlement of 2
weeks of Ordinary Paternity Leave that can be taken over a one or two week
period and must be taken within 56 days of the birth/ adoption.
Parental leave is provided to all those employees with
children under the age of 18 years – the law protects them, allowing up to 18
weeks of unpaid to leave for any dependant. No more than 4 weeks are to be
taken in any one year. Emergencies relating to dependants are also covered,
providing employees with reasonable time off to deal with an emergency.
Shared Parental Leave is offered to all those employees
earning no less than (£113 per week) for a minimum of 8 weeks prior to the 15th
week of the baby’s birth date/ notified of adoption date. This is then shared
between both parties.
Flexible working – all employees with 26 weeks continuous
service have the right to put in a request for flexible working. The employer
is required to give serious consideration to the requests and provide adequate
reasons if refused. The employer must meet with the employee to discuss and
respond within 3 months, allowing time for an appeal.
As stated by the Working Time Regulations 1998 a working
week is measured at 48 hours – employees are however able to opt out of this option
meaning they’re willing to work beyond this. This follows onto the required
rest periods an adult worker is required to have. So for every 6 hours worked,
an adult employee is entitled to take a rest period of 20 minutes. Similarly a
young employee is entitled to 30 minutes for every 6 hours worked. Adult
employees are entitled to 11 hours of uninterrupted rest in every 24 hour
period, whereas a young employee is entitled to have 12 hours.
Annual leave – for all full time employees, the paid leave
entitlement is 28 days which can include all the bank holidays or be added on
Night workers are entitled to a free health assessment at
regular intervals and if necessary, prior to work starting. Adequate rest
periods are essential if the work itself can cause health problems.