Other criteria for the person used for comparison

The gender of the person used for comparison

The Equality Act aims to prevent an employee from being disadvantaged regarding pay 'based on gender'. The person used for comparison, i.e. the employee whose salary is being compared to the complainant's salary, must usually be of the opposite gender, i.e. a woman can compare her pay to a man's, and vice versa. The person used for comparison can, however, be of the same gender if the employee has been treated differently regarding pay because of pregnancy, childbirth, parenthood or family responsibilities.

Periodic comparison

Carrying out a comparison of pay does not require that the salaries were paid out during the same period. The pay can also be discriminatory if an employee is placed in a less favourable position because of their gender than another employee who previously worked for the same employer. Therefore an employee can compare their salary to that of their predecessor. Comparisons of pay are also possible between permanent and temporary employees.

Comparison with the pay of an employee on a higher salary level

The right to carry out comparisons of pay are not restricted to the employees who have been placed on the same level of difficulty, salary level or pricing level in the collective agreement. An employee can also compare their pay to the pay of employees who have been placed on a higher salary level or who belong to a higher pay or pricing level if the employee can prove that he or she is carrying out work of equal value to those other employees.

Same employer or 'a shared origin'

According to the Equality Act equal pay has to be realised between the employees working for the same employer. If the employer runs several units, then the employee can also compare their pay to the pay of employees working at another unit.

According to the European Court of Justice the Union's legislation on equal pay can be applied when the pay gap has 'a shared origin'. The Court has considered that employees who become contractors or agency-hired labour and who are carrying out the same duties that they previously did as employees can compare their pay to the pay that their previous employer pays to their employees.