Woman earning less than male colleague wins clam for equal pay

Despite doing the same job as a male colleague, a female manager was paid £7,680 less per year. Ms Michelle Smith has recently won more than £12,000 in compensation from her former employer.

Neilson Financial Services was found to be in breach of the Equal Pay Act and found to have sexually discriminated against Michelle Smith. Ms Smith had been paid about 20% less than a male counterpart who had done the same work.

When addressing the tribunal Ms Smith stated that to catch up with her fellow colleague she would need eight years’ worth of 3% pay rises to reach the same level as Mr John Tucker. Taking this further, she said that after the next pay increase Mr Tucker would be entitled to benefits including private healthcare.

In a report by The Daily Mail Smith said that she had done the same work as Mr Tucker from summer 2014 until she finally left the company in 2015. At that time, she was earning £36,267 per annum, while Mr Tucker was earning £43,947 a year.

Ms Smith said that the Slough-based firm had told her when she was hired that her pay would not be at the same level as Tucker’s. The reason for this difference was that Mr Tucker had previously been a senior sales manager and was already on a higher wage than Smith would start on.

When asked about the difference in salaries, the head of sales and operation told the tribunal that because Mr Tucker had in effect been demoted from the previous sales manager position, they were concerned that he would leave if he was placed on a lower wage.

While other staff members were only receiving about £500 a month in commission, Mr Tucker was receiving £1,000.

The tribunal awarded Ms Smith £12,854 plus interest which would cover the wage difference while she was employed with the firm.

On summing up the case Judge Andrew Gumbiti-Zimuto stated that he had reached a conclusion that the claim was well-founded. It fulfilled the requirements to succeed on the grounds of sexual discrimination under the Equal Pay Act.

The judge found that there were no other material interests apart from gender differences, that prevented Ms Smith from earning the same as her colleague Mr Tucker.

Judge Gumbiti-Zimuto ended by saying that the tribunal had heard that the salary for Ms Smith was lower because of individual skills. However, the tribunal was not shown anything to substantiate this claim, and therefore awarded Ms Smith compensation.

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