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Equal pay

(10 Posts)
Chinesecrested Thu 05-Apr-18 09:37:03

There seems to be a lot of debate in the media recently about the 'glass ceiling' and the fact that in general, women tend to be paid less than men for work of equal value.
In particular, Karen Brady was on TV last night arguing that women should be paid the same and talking to a shop worker for Asda who is taking her case to court for £18,000 back pay. (She was a shelf filler and comparing herself with a male warehouse worker).

Personally, I wasn't convinced. Obviously, if a woman has children, it is often the case that there may be childcare problems. Children may get ill, maybe the worker has more babies and takes more maternity leave, all of which are expensive for the company. Her first priority, quite rightly, has to be the children!

Apart from this, often the work that men do is physically harder or more dangerous or unpleasant than the work that women do
eg. binmen, warehouse workers, plumbers, roofers, multidrop or furniture delivery. If a woman chooses to do those jobs and does them as well as the man, she should be entitled to the same money, but they cant be compared with someone doing clerical or office work!

IMO Karen Brady is being disingenuous and naive, but maybe I'm being unfair or am I missing something? What do other people think?

Maggiemaybe Thu 05-Apr-18 10:08:26

Of course workers don’t have to be doing the same job to be entitled to the same salary. Certainly in the public sector, and in most large companies, jobs are assessed, and awarded points for such things as qualifications/experience needed, level of responsibility/risk, unsocial hours, working conditions, etc. Salary scales are then matched to the assessment score.

I don’t get your point about childcare at all. Men have children too, don’t they? My DS is taking a day’s leave today to look after his, as it’s half-term. How is that a problem?

Teetime Thu 05-Apr-18 10:18:17

For me its equality of opportunity that is the missing link. Not everyone has access to further training/education that would get them up the promotion ladder to a higher salary and not everyone can take up opportunities if they do get them due to other commitments be they male or female.

Baggs Thu 05-Apr-18 10:25:59

It'll be interesting to see if the job of shelf filler is classed as the same as warehouseworker. If it is, then whoever is paying the shelf filler less than the warehouseworker is getting is acting illegally. This suggests to me that the jobs are not classed as "the same", which is what I would expect. I'm not sure what a warehouseworker's job entails but I imagine it is significantly different from filling shelves in a shop. I'm thinking about the driving of those vehicles that lift heavy pallets and move them about, unloading lorries, and stuff like that.

Apples do have to be compared to apples, even the same variety of apples, to get a proper picture.

Ilovecheese Thu 05-Apr-18 15:11:09

The jobs of shelf stacker and warehouse worker may not be classed as 'the same' but it is arguable which is the more difficult. The warehouse work may need more physical strength but the shelf stacker has to interact with the public, which can be very difficult and needs a different, equally valuable skill.

Maggiemaybe Thu 05-Apr-18 15:35:05

Which is where job evaluation comes in. The Equality Act states that there must be equal pay for work of equal value, not just for the exact same job.

Gerispringer Thu 05-Apr-18 15:40:18

I’m not sure why lifting a heavy box in a warehouse is seen as more important/ difficult than serving customers.

Maggiemaybe Thu 05-Apr-18 15:48:53

Or that the unpleasant work that is done mostly by men (emptying bins etc) is any more unpleasant than some of the personal care carried out mainly by women.

Baggs Thu 05-Apr-18 16:49:00

Do shelf stackers serve customers? I've known people who had shelf stacking jobs. They worked when the shop was closed.

Not that I'm arguing one job is more valuable than another. Apples to apples covers value. It must be a very subjective judgement though.

Baggs Thu 05-Apr-18 16:53:34

Judging the value is also about how many people could do the job. A job that can be done by lots of people because it isn't very skilled or doesn't require specialist knowledge is less valuable in that respect thatn one that can be done by fewer people. Compare, for instance, being a GP with being the cleaner at the GP surgery.

No, I'm not saying the cleaning job is less valuable when it comes to the sense of pride in one's work that the cleaner might have, only that it needs fewer qualifications.

For all I know warehouseworkers moght need more qualifications (like driving pallet picker uppers) than a shop shelf filler.

As I said, it'll be interesting to see how the case pans out.