Section 65: Equal work
220.This section sets out when the work of two people, whose work is being compared, is taken to be equal so that an equality clause or equality rule can operate. For work to be equal, a claimant must establish that he or she is doing like work, work rated as equivalent or work of equal value to a comparator’s work. The section also sets out the factors which determine whether a person’s work is within one of these categories. The fact that a discriminatory job evaluation study has been carried out which gives different values to the work of men and women is not an obstacle to the operation of an equality clause if an evaluation that set the same values for men and women would have found the jobs to be of equal value.
221.This section is designed to replicate the substance of definitions contained in the Equal Pay Act 1970.
Male and female supermarket employees who perform similar tasks which require similar skills will be doing like work even though the men may lift heavier objects from time to time. This is because the differences are not of practical importance in relation to their terms of employment.
A job evaluation study rated the jobs of women and their better paid male comparators as not equivalent. If the study had not given undue weight to the skills involved in the men’s jobs, it would have rated the jobs as equivalent. An equality clause would operate in this situation.