How to achieve equal pay

Advice and Guidance

Who is this page for?

  • Employers

Which countries is it relevant to?

    • England


    • |
    • Scotland


    • |
    • Wales


The first and most important step towards achieving equal pay is to carry out an equal pay audit (for large employers) or an equal pay review (for smaller employers).

If this identifies any issues that are causing, or could cause, unequal pay between women and men for equal work within your organisation, and which cannot be justified, you need to take action to ensure you comply with your legal obligations under the Equality Act 2010 (the Act) – and to reduce the risk of an equal pay claim against you.

These pages will help you identify appropriate action needed to address equal pay issues in your organisation. They include advice on ensuring your pay systems are fair and transparent, developing an action plan to implement equal pay and maintaining good practice after an equal pay audit or review. They also explain the knowledge required and the policies and systems involved in implementing equal pay.

Understand what equality legislation says about terms and conditions of employment

Find out about the law relating to terms and conditions of employment and how it must be applied to men and women.

Find out more

Equal pay policy

How to produce a document that commits your organisation to equal pay through an explicit equal pay policy that includes clear definitions, objectives and actions. 

Find out more

Job evaluation

Advice on how to objectively evaluate different jobs as the basis for a fair and transparent pay and grading system, including the four key characteristics of analytical job evaluation.

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Pay systems

Achieving and maintaining equal pay requires a fair and transparent pay system. Find out how to check if your pay system is fit for purpose – and what to do if it isn’t.

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Ongoing review and monitoring of pay outcomes

Achieving equal pay is not a one-off exercise. You need to keep all elements of your pay system under constant review – even after you’ve carried out an equal pay audit or review and ensured it’s free from sex bias. 

Find out more


While every effort has been made to ensure that this advice is accurate and up to date, it does not guarantee that you could successfully defend an equal pay claim. Only the courts or tribunals can give authoritative interpretations of the law.

Further Information

If you are involved in an employment dispute or are seeking information on employment rights and rules, you can contact the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas):

Freephone: 0300 123 1100 (8am-8pm Monday to Friday and 9am-1pm Saturday)

Text Relay service: 18001 0300 123 1100.

Last updated: 16 Aug 2016