Our employment solicitors represent clients in Liverpool. They specialise in matters of employment law, including violations of an individual's right to equal opportunities. The issue of equal opportunities encompasses a wide range of rights and complex statutes which is why it is so important that you work with a solicitor who focuses solely on employment disputes.


All Liverpool equal opportunities cases are dealt with on a no win no fee basis by our solicitors. If you do not win your case, you pay absolutely no legal fees or expenses to our solicitors. There are no risks involved with bringing your claim. Specialist equal opportunities solicitors can provide you with no cost, no obligation advice. Just use the helpline or complete the contact form or email our offices.

Equal Opportunities Law

Equal opportunities is a general term referring to the idea that all people should have equal access to employment opportunities. Employers should employ, train and promote individuals based on their skills and work ethic, not on factors such as race or sex. Numerous laws have been enacted to help ensure that equal opportunities are a reality and not just an ideal. Violations of those laws can lead to claims of discrimination or unfair dismissal and substantial compensatory awards for the claimant.


There are six major areas with which equal opportunity laws are primarily concerned:

  • sex
  • race
  • age
  • disability
  • sexual orientation
  • religion and belief


It is illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or employee based on any of those grounds at any stage in the employment process. Harassment is also considered a form of discrimination. An individual is denied equal opportunities if they are subjected to a threatening, degrading or offensive work environment. Additionally, an employee cannot be dismissed or discriminated against for bringing a discrimination claim. Such discrimination is known as victimisation and is a separate grounds for making an application to the Employment Tribunal.

Equal Pay Act 1970

One important area of equal opportunities is pay. Under the Equal Pay Act 1970, it is unlawful for an employer to discriminate between men and women with regard to pay and benefits where both are doing same or similar work, work of equal value or work rated as equivalent in a job evaluation study by the employer. The purpose of the legislation was to close the 30% pay gap that existed between men and women when the law came into effect.


Equal pay includes not only salary but also benefits and other terms of employment. For example, the Equal Pay Act covers inequalities in bonuses and sick leave. Even where a man and woman are receiving the same pay for the same job, a difference in an area such as private health care would still be a violation of the Act.


To bring a claim under the Equal Pay Act, the employee must first find a "comparator." A comparator is a person of the opposite sex who performs similar work but is treated more favourably. The comparator can be someone currently employed by the organisation, a predecessor or a successor. The comparator must be of the opposite sex, as the Equal Pay Act does not mandate that people of the same sex receive the same pay for equal work.


Claims in Liverpool related to violations of the Equal Pay Act are brought before the Liverpool Employment Tribunal. Note that there are limits on the amount of time you have to bring a claim. An application to the Tribunal can be made any time while the employee is employed at the relevant job. Should the employee leave the job, they have six months from the time of leaving to make an application. The Employment Tribunal does have the discretion to extend the time limit under certain circumstances.


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