Equal Pay Act 1970

The Equal Pay Act 1970 was the first piece of UK legislation which enshrined the right to pay equality between women and men. It set out that an individual can claim equal pay when she or he, when compared with a comparator of the opposite sex, is employed in:

  • Like work: Which means work that is the same or broadly similar, regardless of whether the job title is the same.
  • Work rated as equivalent: Which means work that has been rated as equivalent under a job evaluation scheme.
  • Work of equal value: Which means work that requires the same levels of effort, skill, knowledge and responsibility.

The provisions of the Equal Pay Act are mirrored in the Equality Act 2010, which brought together previously existing equalities legislation, and strengthened and simplified equalities law.

Last updated May 2016

Related publications

What equality law means for you as an employer: pay and benefitsWhat equality law means for you as an employer: pay and benefits This guidance from the EHRC sets out ways that employers can avoid all the different types of unlawful discrimination with regard to basic pay, non-discretionary bonuses, overtime rates and allowances, performance-related benefits, severance and redundancy pay, access to pension schemes, hours of work, company cars, sick pay, and 'fringe benefits' such as travel allowances.