Pay and benefits

If your employer is making decisions about the level of pay they set or the benefits they give you in return for working for them, equality law applies to what they are doing.

Equality law applies:

  • whatever the size of the organisation
  • whatever sector you work in
  • whether your employer has one worker or ten or hundreds or thousands
  • whether or not your employer uses any formal processes or forms to help them make decisions. 

Pages in this section include:

This guide also contains the following sections, which are similar in each guide in the series, and contain information you are likely to need to understand what we tell you about pay and benefits:

Your rights not to be discriminated against at work: what this means for how your employer must behave towards you

Don't forget that specific rules apply to equal pay between women and men where pay or benefits are part of your contract of employment. If the reason for a difference in pay or benefits is or might be the your sex, in other words, the fact that you are a man or a woman, you should read decisions about pay and benefits for women and men (equal pay) to understand what the rules are. 

Are you a worker?

This guide calls you a worker if you are working for someone else (who this guide calls your employer) in a work situation. Most situations are covered, even if you don't have a written contract of employment or if you are a contract worker rather than a worker directly employed by your employer. Other types of worker such as trainees, apprentices and business partners is also covered. If you are not sure, check under 'work situation' in the list of words and key ideas. Sometimes, equality law only applies to particular types of worker, such as employees, and we make it clear if this is the case.


More information:

Equality Act good practice guidance downloads

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