The Story Of Equal Pay

  • 1888 - Clementina Black, Secretary of the women's Trade Union League, proposes the first successful equal pay resolution at the Trade Union Congress
  • 1906 - The National Federation of Women's Workers (NFWW) is formed by Mary Macarthur in an attempt to organise and unionise women workers in Britain.
  • 1909 - The trade Boards Act 1909 is introduced after successful lobbying from the NFWW. The allowed boards to be created which could set minimum wages (often in female dominated industries).
  • 1914-1918 - The First World War meant that women were brought into the workforce in large numbers to fill the jobs vacated by men.
  • 1939-1945 - During the Second World War women were conscripted into industrial positions. For the first time women were fulfilling a majority of rolestraditionally seen as 'male'. Women workers proved themselves to be more than capable of doing the jobs as well as or often better than thier male counter parts
  • 1956 - British legal reforms say that women teachers and civil servants should receive equal pay.
  • 1968 - Female workers at the Ford plant in Dagenham went on strike for three weeks demanding equal pay. They argued that thier work as machinists was equal to the highly skilled production jobs done by men. Thier cause was brought to the attention of Barbara Castle the then Employment Minister
  • 1970 - The Dagenham strike leads to the Equal Pay Act being passed, which comes into force in 1975. The Act prohibited the introduction of different pay scales for the same work based on gender
  • 1976 - The Equal Opportunities Commission ( EOC - now the EHRC) is set-up to enforce the 1975 Sex Discrimination Act and the Equal Pay Act. The Commission campaigned on all gender related issues in the UK.
  • 1988 - Julie Hayward, a shipyard cook from Birkenhead, won the first case with a ruling of "equal pay for equal work". She endured a ten year battle in the tribunals and courts but was eventually successful in being awarded the same pay as her male shipyard colleagues.
  • 2012 - The current gender pay gap is estimated at between 10-20%. Recent studies have suggested that it may take 30, 70 or 100 years to achieve equal pay. The situation is wrong and needs to be changed

Assess your right to an equal pay claim with our free tool