Codes of Practice

On this page you will find links to the codes of practice relevant to equal pay. A code is an authoritative guide to the relevant statutory provisions.


The Equality Act 2010 gives women (and men) a right to equal pay for equal work. It replaced previous legislation, including the Equal Pay Act 1970, the Sex Discrimination Act 1975, and the equality provisions of the Pensions Act 1995.

Equal Pay: Statutory Code of Practice

The Equality Act 2010 Code of Practice on Equal Pay has been approved by parliament and can only be amended with parliamentary approval. UK employers are expected to be familiar with the Code, and if you are an employer then you need to bear in mind that Tribunals and courts considering an equal pay claim are obliged to take into account any part of the code that appears relevant to the proceedings. This means that following the guidance in the code could help you to avoid an adverse decision by a tribunal or court.

The Equality Act 2010 Code of Practice on Equal Pay brings together all 200 or so provisions of The Equality Act 2010 that relate to equal pay.

The Code is the authoritative guide to the Act’s equality of terms provisions. The Code is intended to ensure that women and men receive the same pay and other  contractual benefits when they are doing equal work.

It draws on case law and precedent to illustrate where and how the Act’s provisions on equal pay can be brought to bear in real-life situations. It is aimed at lawyers, advocates, human resources personnel, courts and tribunals; everyone who needs to understand the law in depth.

The Code is in two parts: Part 1 sets out what the law says. If you should need to refer to the Act itself, then Part 1 also helpfully lists each of the relevant provisions, making it easy to find what you are looking for. Part 2 introduces good equal pay practice and suggests an equal pay audit as an effective means of ensuring that a pay system delivers equal pay.

Repeal of the equal pay questionnaire

The questionnaire referred to on page 37 of the Code was repealed on the 6th April 2014. For advice on how to ask or respond to questions about equal pay go to BringingaClaim.

The Equality Act 2010 Equality Duty

Public bodies have specific and additional obligations under the Equality Act 2010, and these vary  across England, Scotland and Wales, especially in respect of equal pay, go to The Law for more details.

European Union

In 1996 Europe issued a Code of Practice on the Implementation of Equal Pay for Work of Equal Value for Women and Men The Code is not legally binding, but aims to provide concrete advice for employers and collective bargaining partners at business, sectoral or intersectoral level to ensure that the principle of equality between women and men doing work of equal value is applied to all aspects of pay. In particular it aims to eliminate sexual discrimination where pay structures are based on job classification and evaluation systems. Despite its date, the practical steps the code recommends are still valid. Essentially the Code proposes two things:

  • that negotiators at all levels, whether on the side of the employers or the unions,who are involved in the determination of pay systems, should carry out an analysis of the remuneration system and evaluate the data required to detect sexual discrimination in the pay structures so that remedies can be found,
  • that a plan for follow-up should be drawn up and implemented to eliminate any sexual discrimination evident in the pay structures.


Last updated 30th July 2019