We occasionally hear that managers have advised colleagues not to talk about their pay with other colleagues, however it's important that you are free to talk about your pay if you so choose. TUC research in 2020 highlights that a fifth (18%) of workers have been told they're not allowed to discuss pay with co-workers.
Open and honest conversations help foster transparent pay systems, where all workers are fairly paid for the work that they do. Pay can be a sensitive topic for individuals, so it's important to treat other colleagues respectfully when discussing pay. However, the short answer to the question is yes, you can talk about your pay with your colleagues.
The Equality Act (2010) gives workers the right to discuss their salaries and it helps us to identify unequal pay based on the protected characteristic of sex. There can be many reasons why pay may appear different, and equal pay claims are complex. To start with, you're required to have a comparator of the opposite sex who is undertaking the same type of work which may not always be easy to identify. One way we can seek relevant pay data for pay claims is through a pay survey.
If you believe you're being paid unfairly, talk to one of our local officers for further guidance.
Acas also provide some useful information on equal pay.