What to do if you feel your pay is unfair (LBG)
If you feel you're being paid unfairly for the job that you're performing, there are several steps that you can take. We'll go through them here, but if you're unsure we would recommend discussing this with your local Accord officer.
Do your research
A good starting point is to make sure you have all the relevant information about your pay and that you know where you are in the applicable pay range. Here are some suggested steps to help you gather the right information:
- Check the pay range that applies to you (you'll need your pay group number and grade to start with which you'll find in Workday).
- If you're part-time, make sure you're comparing using your full-time equivalent salary. It's easy to get confused by the numbers, so divide your salary by your contracted weekly hours and then times by 35 (i.e. FTE = Salary / Contracted weekly hours x 35).
- Check which pay zone you're in. If you're above the maximum of the Market plus zone, the business is unlikely to pay you an increase as you're above the maximum market rate that they have applied to your role and grade.
- How does your pay compare relative to your colleagues? You may not feel comfortable talking to your colleagues about this, but your manager can give you an idea of how you compare to your colleagues without going into the specifics of each of your colleague's circumstances. You are however allowed to talk about your pay with your colleagues if you wish to.
- If you're being paid in line with the pay range that's applicable, and you're below the maximum or below other colleagues, you're going to need to have a conversation with your manager, so start thinking about what you're going to say. Think about the job that you do, and ask yourself if you're doing more than is required by your role, whether you're picking up additional work over and above that which is expected of your job grade (for example picking up the work of a higher graded colleague on a frequent basis), and whether you're doing this on a regular basis (i.e. daily or weekly). If you are, make a few notes of what it is you're doing, when and how often, and importantly why you think your pay is not in line with your expectations.
- Think about your performance. You may be doing over and above your job role, but if that's happening at the expense of your day-to-day responsibilities, you're unlikely to be given a pay increase. So, think about your check-ins with your manager. Are there areas of your performance that you've received feedback on within the last 6-12 months, and have those areas been addressed?
- Consider your overall total reward package. The business doesn't just reward their people through basic salary, and although we'd all like higher pay, consider whether you've received value and recognition through things like your Group Performance Share (GPS) award. Has the additional contribution you've made been recognised through a GPS payment? The business uses differentiation of GPS awards to reflect the different contributions colleagues make throughout the year.
- Is there a potential mismatch between your role and your grade? What we know is that jobs evolve over time, and job descriptions and the evaluations of grades don't always keep up. So, is there a wider issue here that you and your colleagues are performing at a higher grade? If there is, you'll need to follow a more detailed process to have your role evaluated. If you think this is the right course of action for your situation, talk to your local Accord officer.
Talk to your manager
When you've done your research and have all the relevant information, it's time to talk through with your manager. You'll want to discuss anything that you've found, and the reasons that you feel your salary is unfair. Remember, the pay policy gives managers the discretion to review your pay outside of the annual pay review process - it's called an out of cycle pay review.
The process is an exceptional process, so you'll need to build a compelling case to present to your manager. In order for your manager to gain agreement, they'll also need to be able to show that there's an issue in the way that you're being paid for the contribution you're making to the business. What we're saying is, you're unlikely to gain agreement to increase your pay unless the business can see that your pay is not in line with the contributions and efforts you've put in.
It's likely that your manager will need to seek support from HR and their wider senior management team - and of course the budget-holder for your area. Should it be agreed to increase your pay, you'll be informed, and the increase will be processed on Workday. If your request for an increase is declined, your manager should explain to you the reasons why.
Talk to Accord
If you're unable to resolve the issue with your manager, or you believe the reasons you're being given don't stack up, talk to one of our local officers for further guidance. We'll discuss the case with you and advise you of the next steps.
Other useful information
The Equality Act (2010) gives workers the right to equal pay based on the protected characteristic of sex, although it may be also open to challenge on other areas of discrimination such as race or age. The Equality Act (2010) replaced the Equal Pay Act (1970), Sex Discrimination Act (1975) and the equality provisions in the Pensions Act (1995) which are incorporated into the 2010 Equality Act.
The law has been designed to ensure that men and women are paid equally when undertaking the same or similar work. Equal pay claims are complicated and require you to establish a comparator of the opposite sex and that the reason for the difference is because of the sex of the workers and not another reason. For this reason, we'd advise anyone who believes they may have an equal pay claim to get in touch with your local Accord officer.
Acas also provide some useful information on equal pay.