“Times Up” at Google
12 November 2018 by Marketing Team
Thousands of Google employees staged walkouts across offices in Asia, Europe and US after a small group of staff announced a protest and demands on social media for the company to:
- End pay inequality and provide statistics on the number of harassment claims;
- End policy of forced arbitration which prohibits staff from suing in harassment claims;
- Appoint employee representative at the board;
- Provide disclosure of salaries; and
- Appoint a Chief Diversity Officer.
The New York Times reported that Google allowed senior executives subject to “credible” allegations to leave quietly with substantial severance pay-outs not to work for Google competitors. According to the paper, only 31% of its global workforce are women and only 26% of its executives are women. Recent allegations about inequities at Google have included a Department for Labour investigation into the systemic gender pay gap in the US. Lawsuits have also been filed in relation to gender bias in pay and promotion.
What does equal pay for equal work mean?
Equal work doesn’t require you to do the same job. The Equality Act says that equal work can mean work where one job is similar to another and where the differences do not affect their practical terms.
In the UK, all employees have the right to equal pay if they work:
- for the same employer at the same workplace;
- for the same employer but at a different workplace where common terms and conditions apply, for example at another branch of a store; and
- for an associated employer (e.g. parent organisation).
Equal pay claims include pension benefits, holiday pay, company cars, overtime, bonuses, shift work, and sick pay.
In the UK from April 2018 businesses with more than 250 employees have been required to publish gender pay gap information. This includes the differences between the pay of men and women and the discrepancies in their bonuses.
If you feel that you are being paid less than your colleague who is of the opposite sex then:
- You must first identify the person who you are comparing your pay to. The comparator does not have to have the same job as you. They have to work for the same employer but that could include a parent company. However, they do not have work at the same location as you.
- Write to your employer to ask if there is a difference in your pay and that of your colleague and request for reasons for this.
Try and resolve the situation informally. If you do not receive a response your employer then file a formal grievance. Notes of meetings and copies of all emails should be retained.
Your employer will usually arrange a meeting to discuss your grievance. It may want to investigate further before making a decision on whether or not it thinks you are entitled to equal pay.
Sometimes a mediator can help you and your employer reach an agreement with your employer.
You can make a claim for equal pay at any point during your employment. A claim may be lodged within six months after you’ve left a firm. This time limit may be affected if:
- You are incapacitated
- If your employer has deliberately concealed the pay inequality
- If you have been engaged on several contracts
- If there has been a fundamental change to the claimant’s contract of employment
- If there has been a TUPE transfer
- If you have been in the Armed Forces
If you would like to discuss an employment-related issue please contact Neemah Ahamed by calling 01206 700113 or emailing [email protected].