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'Equal pay for work of equal value?' Here's exactly what that phrase means

by , 29 February 2016
With Employment Equity, there's a phrase 'equal work for pay of equal value'.

Now this may seem straightforward, but the truth is that many can't help but ask, 'What exactly constitutes work of equal value?'

After all, how can you determine equal value if you don't even know what to look out for?
Let's a look...


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What does work of equal value actually mean?

Work is considered to be of equal value if the work your employees do is:

·         The same as the work of another employee. In other words, if their work is pretty much identical to the point where it's actually interchangeable;

·         The same as the work of another employee to the degree where you consider it so, even if it's not necessarily interchangeable; and 

·         Of the same value as the work of another employee in a different job.
How can you assess work value?

In order to assess work value, you must first determine if:

·         The work concerned is in fact of equal value; and

·         If there's a difference in the terms and conditions of employment, INCLUDING remuneration;
Once you've determined, you must then determine if any differences amount to unfair discrimination in terms of race, gender or disability.

How can you assess if work is of equal value?

In order to do this, you have to be objective when you assess the relevant jobs.

Look into the following criteria:
·         The level of responsibility associated with the job. This includes responsibility for people, finances, materials etc.;

·         The skills and qualifications required to do the work. Include formal AS WELL AS formal learning and experience;

·         Physical, mental and/or emotional effort required to do the work; and

·         If relevant to the job in question, the conditions under which the employee must work.

You should also consider any other factors which you think may show the value of the work.

Your assessment must be objective and fair. In other words, it must be unbiased.

*So there's a breakdown of 'equal pay for work of equal value'.

To learn more practical information and advice on Employment Equity in the workplace, page over to chapter E 27 in your Practical Guide to Human Resources Management handbook, or click here if you don't have one already. 

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