Small groups of employees and groups consisting only of women or men

The salaries of individual employees cannot be revealed in the equality plan. The Equality Act does not contain provisions on the minimum number of women and men in each employee group to be compared. The Ombudsman for Equality has found that in most cases groups including as few as three women and three men can be assessed as separate groups.

If there are so few employees in a group that the salary of the group cannot be included without also revealing the salaries of individual employees, then these employees should be included in a group of employees carrying out work that is as similar or as equal in value as possible. Merging groups may lead to a situation where employees carrying out very different kinds of work in regards to their level of difficulty are part of the same group. This places greater demands on the assessment of the reasons behind differences in pay and whether or not these differences are acceptable.

The pay data in the public sector is public, so individual employees’ pay data can be used when carrying out the pay survey but not in the final equality plan. This makes it easier to assess potential pay differences and their causes with small employee groups.

If a group of employees contains only women or only men it can be assessed whether the pay of the group as a whole is placed on the correct level of difficulty when compared to the pay of employee groups that also include members of the opposite sex. It should also be assessed whether this group is treated equally regarding fringe benefits.