Equal pay for work of equal value – A South African perspective

Authors Talita Laubscher

ISSN: 2413-9874
Affiliations: Partner in the Employment Practice Group, Bowman Gilfillan Inc
Source: Industrial Law Journal, Volume 37 Issue 2, 2016, p. 804 – 830


It is well recognised that women are generally paid at lower rates than their male counterparts, and for over 50 years countries around the world have grappled with the issue of equality of pay between the sexes. In South Africa, not only is there disparity of pay between women and men, but also between the different race groups. The Employment Equity Act prohibits unfair discrimination in any employment policy or practice. With effect from 1 August 2014, s 6(4) of the Act expressly recognises that differences in terms and conditions of employment between employees who perform the same or similar work, or work of equal value, constitute a form of unfair discrimination when the reason for the difference is one of the grounds listed in s 6(1). This paper analyses the elements of an equal treatment claim with specific reference to the provisions of s 6(4) of the Act, the Employment Equity Regulations 2014 and applicable case law.