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Equal Opportunities: The Regulation of Women's Pay

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An employer has many options in order to defend himself against a claim based on the existence of discrimination in accordance with the terms of the Equal Pay Act 1970. Moreover, in accordance with Greenlaw et al. (1993) “ the law, which requires equal pay for equal work among men and women, provides a mechanism for aggrieved workers to present prima facie cases of discrimination before courts after which accused employers have an opportunity to provide affirmative defenses, showing that no discrimination exists” . In this context, it has been found that Job Evaluation Studies are often used by employees in order to prove that there has been no ‘ inequality’ in payment regarding the relevant claim of a woman working in their firm.

In fact, it has been proved that Job Evaluation Studies are very likely to be used by employers when faced with a claim based on the Equal Pay Act 1970. However, in order for this tool of ‘ defence’ to be used, the Job Evaluation Study must: “ a) be analytical; b) have objectively assessed the value to be placed on the work performed; c) have analyzed both the claimant's and the comparator's jobs and d) have been carried out at the undertaking at which the claimant is employed” .

Apart from the above tool of ‘ defense’ employers also claim that the particular job has to be paid “ in accordance with the market rates for the specific job” (Equal Opportunities Commission, 2007). However, in practice, the above tool is not always effective for employers. In fact, in the case of Ratcliffe and Others v. North Yorkshire Country Council [1995] IRLR 439 HL, it has been accepted by the employment tribunal that the relevant claim of the employer could not be acceptable.

The base for this decision has been the fact that “ the women fitted work around their childcare responsibilities and could not have found other suitable work within the labor market at more favorable rates of pay” . The House of Lords also verified the above decision stating that the specific claim of the employer could not be regarded as a ‘ defense’ under the provisions of Article 1(3) of the Equal Pay Act 1970.

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preview essay on Equal Opportunities: The Regulation of Women's Pay
  • Pages: 9 (2250 words)
  • Document Type: Assignment
  • Subject: Law
  • Level: Undergraduate
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