top of page

Pay and Pay Inequality

< Back


There are several considerations when setting pay rates for your employees, some are mandatory requirements e.g., National Minimum Wage (NMW) rates, Equal pay act. Others include a drive towards the National Living Wage, fair pay and reducing pay inequality across gender or protected characteristics.

There are also legal requirements to pay Statutory Sick Pay, Statutory maternity pay/ paternity pay, or adoption pay.

There may also be industry guidelines on pay rates within certain industries or agreed rates with Trade Unions.

Pay equality

Even when companies follow the Equal Pay Act and the Discrimination Act there can be a variance in how different groups of people are paid. For example, women often take career breaks to care for children which can lead to them missing out on career progression opportunities. 

Unintentionally or by unconscious bias, people with protected characteristics can find themselves or their skills not recognised and can end up in lower paid roles.

Why is this important?

Setting the right pay for the job helps you to attract the right people for your business. Whilst there is a legal requirement for NMW, employers who pay the National Living Wage can significantly help their employees. Better pay can lead to better retention rates and lower employee turnover.

If employers offer flexible working supported by a competitive pay structure, they can really incentivise employees to perform well.

Plymouth’s average full time weekly earnings by place of residence currently stands at £553.40 compared to £619.80 in the South West and £642.20 nationally. The gender pay gap in the city also persists with men earning on average £584.60 weekly gross pay compared to women at £535.80 in 2022. Lack of opportunity for wage growth and a lack of income resulting in poverty both lead to a city that is unfair for some. Inclusive growth was highlighted as a challenge facing cities such as Plymouth in the last Plymouth Report and still remains a priority


Labour Market Profile - Nomis - Official Census and Labour Market Statistics (

How will this benefit the employees?

Better pay helps people to have better working lives. Everyone needs to have fair pay for fair work, this allows employees to focus on their job especially if they are not worried about personal finances.

Pay equality and opportunity gives employees higher job potential and job satisfaction.

Highly relevant with the current financial pressures on energy costs, inflation, rent increases and mortgage rates.

How will this benefit employers?

A better paid workforce with equality of opportunity and pay parity give the employer a far greater supply of potential talent for both recruitment and retention. This can help reduce recruitment and retention costs, also leading to a happier workforce.

Pay equality can reduce opportunities for people to thrive and contribute their skills to the benefit of their employers. 

Employers can limit their recruitment, talent pool by not offering competitive and comparable pay to all potential applicants.

"this allows employees to focus on their job especially if they are not worried about personal finances".

Where to start

Review salary rates and salary progression opportunities, identify any gaps or places to improve.

Compare salaries with other similar organisations, pay guidelines and trade bodies. 

Conduct a pay review in conjunction with a review of other terms and conditions that may improve people’s income or wellbeing.

Effective actions

Review pay against budget and scope any potential to improve pay and or conditions.

Identify any gender pay or any inequality, work on a strategy and an action plan on how to improve.

Take advice from others e.g., Plymouth Charter Champions

How to achieve changes

Share action plan with teams, talk to individuals concerned, ensure your employees understand that you are aware of any issues and that you are taking action.

Consider pay awards linked to employees improving their skills, for example; Plymouth Charter – Upskill.

Useful Links

The National Minimum Wage in 2022 - GOV.UK

Pay Structures and Pay Progression | Factsheets | CIPD

Pay and wages | Acas

Skills Launchpad Plymouth

bottom of page