Equality and Pay

Equal pay

It is unlawful to discriminate on the grounds of sex and this includes paying people of one sex less than the other for comparable work.

Gender pay gap

The gender pay gap reflects ongoing societal discrimination and occupational segregation in the labour market which, in practice, mainly affect women. Its causes are complex and interrelated.

Incremental pay scales and sex and age discrimination

The significant precedent came from the ECJ ruling in 2006 in Cadman v Health and Safety Executive. The ruling was not entirely straightforward but this UCEA Update explains why it is important to review pay grades that are longer than six incremental points (five years' service) and provides advice on the design of pay structures in this context.

Incremental pay scales and sex discrimination

Gender pay gap infographics and briefing

Often the gender pay gap is mistakenly equated with equal pay. UCEA has therefore produced a colourful three-page infographics titled 'Examining the gender pay gap in Higher Education' and an accompanying briefing paper to explain the topic.

Examining the gender pay gap in HE January 2017

UCEA Communications Briefing on Gender Pay Gap issues in HE


UCEA has done several joint pieces of research on Equal Pay and the Gender Pay Gap with the sector trade unions (JNCHES). The most recent report, published in September 2016, is available to download here:

New JNCHES Higher Education gender pay gap data
his report included recommendations to publish five sector gender pay gap metrics annually to assist with monitoring progress. The updated metrics, which have been agreed with UCEA members, can be explored through this interactive Tableau interface.

Some of our earlier work on gender pay is also available to download: 

Gender Pay Working Group Report

Equal Pay Review survey results

Equal Pay Review Case Studies

The Gender Pay Gap - A Literature Review

Results of the 2013 survey of equal pay reviews

New JNCHES Equality Working Group - Overview Report


Joint UCEA JNCHES guidance on conducting equal pay reviews:

JNCHES Equal Pay Review Guidance 

Reporting on the gender pay gap

Section 78 of the Equality Act 2010 (the Act) allows the government to make regulations requiring mandatory gender pay gap reporting. On 6th March 2015 the government announced backing for reforms that will bring section 78 of the Act into effect and thereby require mandatory reporting.

The precise details of the new measures will be subject to consultation. However, it is anticipated that companies will be required to carry out an equal pay review and publish on an annual basis, as a minimum, the gender pay gap for full-time and part-time staff and the overall pay gap.

Employers may also be required to publish details of the difference between men’s and women’s starting salaries, average basic pay, other elements of reward (such as bonuses) and average total earnings broken down by grade and job type.

The proposed penalty for non-compliance is a fine of up to £5,000. 


Page last updated April 2017