Agriculture: Females

Women and Equalities written question – answered on 21st July 2016.

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Photo of Rachael Maskell Rachael Maskell Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, if she will take steps to ensure that women in the agricultural sector receive equal pay to men.

Photo of Caroline Dinenage Caroline Dinenage The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

The Equality Act 2010 ensures that employers must pay women the same as men, irrespective of economic sector, where they are employed to do like work, work rated as equivalent or equal value work. As well as pay, these “equality of terms” provisions also require other contractual terms, such as bonuses and access to opportunities, to be offered on equal terms to men and women.

Where an employer allegedly breaches the equality of terms provisions in the 2010 Act, an employee can enforce their rights by making a claim in an Employment Tribunal within 6 months of the alleged breach. An employer found in breach may be liable to pay compensation and/or costs.

Prior to considering legal action, employees who feel that their employer has breached the equality of terms provisions in the 2010 Act can seek advice from the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas). Acas provides free authoritative and impartial advice to employees and employers via their website (www.acas.org.uk) and via its telephone helpline (08457 47 47 47). Advice can also be sought from the Equality Advisory and Support Service (EASS), which provides free bespoke advice and support to individuals with discrimination enquiries. The EASS can be contacted via its website (http://www.equalityadvisoryservice.com/), or via telephone (0808 8000082, textphone users can call 0808 8000084).

The Equality and Human Right Commission has published extensive equal pay guidance for both employers and employees on its website at: https://www.equalityhumanrights.com/en/our-work/equal-pay

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