Equal pay audits

Equal pay audits

The law on equal pay in the UK was introduced by the Equal Pay Act 1970. It is now contained within the Equality Act 2010. The Equality Act provides a legal framework to protect the rights of individuals and advance equality of opportunity for all. It  prohibits discrimination against those with the following protected characteristics: age; disability; gender reassignment; marriage and civil partnership; pregnancy and maternity; race; religion and belief; sex; and sexual orientation.

The law on equal pay requires that both men and women receive the same level of pay as employees of the opposite sex who are performing the same work, or work assessed as being of equal value as determined by an analytical job evaluation scheme which looks at the skills and requirements of the job. Any differences in pay must be for a genuine and material reason, which is not the difference of sex.

The University of Oxford is committed to the principle of equal pay for work of equal value for all employees.

The statutory code of practice on equal pay recommends that the most effective way of establishing whether pay policies and systems are discriminatory is to undertake an equal pay audit.

The University has conducted Equal Pay Audits since 2009 and these are now conducted every three years. The most recent equal pay audits were conducted in 2016/17, one covering the main salary and grading structure and another covering senior staff.

The audits provide an analysis of basic pay and total pay and have been used to identify actions to be undertaken, including improving the coding of payments and providing further guidance on allowances.