Equal Pay Disputes: Navigating Legal Avenues for Fair Compensation

 Equal Pay Disputes: Navigating Legal Avenues for Fair Compensation

In Northern Ireland, legislation is in place to ensure that individuals are paid equally for the same or similar work, regardless of gender. Navigating the legal avenues for equal pay disputes is essential for employees seeking fair compensation in line with Northern Ireland’s legal framework.

Equal pay legislation is not confined to identical job roles; it extends to work of equal value. This means that if two jobs, though different, are of equal value in terms of demands such as skill, effort, responsibility, and working conditions, employees should receive equal pay. McPartland & Sons solicitors specialise in evaluating the nuances of roles and establishing their equivalence, ensuring your claim is founded on solid legal grounds.

Equal Pay Legislation

The three pieces of law in which this principle is implemented are as follows:

  • The Pensions (NI) Order 1995 – This is a law that prohibits sex discrimination. This is about employees’ access when it comes to pension schemes and the way employees are treated under the rules of these schemes in place.
  • The Equal Pay Act (NI) 1970 – This requires employers to pay both men and women equal pay for equal work. It prohibits sex discrimination of any kind when it comes to the relationship between employees and their contractual pay. It’s also in respect of the terms and conditions of their employment with said employer.
  • The Sex Discrimination (NI) Order 1976 – This prohibits sex discrimination when it comes to the non-contractual entitlements to certain benefits.

In Northern Ireland, all workers have the right to equal pay, and should these rights be compromised in any way, then there may be legal consequences.

Initiating the Equal Pay Dispute Process

When faced with a potential equal pay dispute, the first step is to raise the issue with your employer. This can involve informal discussions or following the company’s formal grievance procedures. Employers are encouraged to conduct pay audits to identify and rectify any disparities. However, if resolution remains elusive, our solicitors can guide you through the process of filing a claim with the Industrial Tribunal.

The Role of the Industrial Tribunal

In Northern Ireland, the Industrial Tribunal is responsible for adjudicating equal pay claims. The tribunal assesses the evidence presented and determines whether there is a case of unequal pay. It may order an employer to pay arrears to the claimant and make necessary adjustments to ensure ongoing equal pay. Our experienced solicitors are well-versed in presenting compelling cases before the tribunal, maximising the chances of a favourable outcome for our clients.

Time Limitations and Compensation

It is crucial to note that there are time limitations for filing an equal pay claim. Generally, claims should be submitted within six months from the end of the employment. Successful claimants may be entitled to backdated pay and adjustments going forward. Our solicitors meticulously calculate compensation, considering not only the financial aspects but also the impact on your career and well-being.

Equal pay disputes demand a thorough understanding of Northern Ireland’s legal framework. Our dedicated team of solicitors at McPartland & Sons is committed to guiding you through the complexities of equal pay legislation, ensuring that you are equipped to assert your rights and secure fair compensation. By navigating the legal avenues with expertise and diligence, we empower individuals to foster a workplace environment that champions equality and fairness. Contact us for more details. 

Related Blogs:

Employment Law in Northern Ireland: Your Rights and Obligations as an Employee

The Importance of Choosing an Experienced Solicitor for Your Legal Needs

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