Are Different Pay Rises for the Same Job Permissible?
I work in a profession that has a Chartered Institute. Membership costs a few hundred pounds annually but it is not a requirement to carry out the job. The membership process is through application that proves prior training and experience, there is no examination.
Some Companies will pay the membership fee for those staff that join the institute. The benefit to the Company is that they can say x% of their staff are members of the Chartered Institute. However, my current employer has a different system and I wondered as to its legality. Basically it awards different pay rises to staff based upon their membership of the Chartered Institute.
In April of last year the pay rise was 1% for non members and 3% for members. This year it was year 5% to non-members and 6.5% to members. There was no other reason for the differential and it does not directly or indirectly discriminate as per protected characteristics of the Equal Pay Act 2010.
The differential far exceeds the cost of membership fee to the chartered institute.
In all other regards the person standing next to me is as equally qualified and experienced as I am, yet because of their membership of a chartered institute they have beeb given a greater pay rise than me, a risk that amounts to more than the membership fee.
The easy solution would be for me to join the same chartered institute but, in the meantime, is this difference in pay awards based upon membership of the chartered institute permissible in law?