Woman’s equal pay campaign launched after being paid £6,000 less a year

PUBLISHED: 08:00 30 November 2019

Fawcett Society CEO Sam Smethers and Kay Collins.Picture: Fawcett Society

Fawcett Society CEO Sam Smethers and Kay Collins.Picture: Fawcett Society

Fawcett Society

A Weston woman who endured a three-year court battle and suffered a ‘severe impact to her health’ for the right to equal pay has launched a petition for women to check if they are being paid fairly in their jobs.

Kay Collins, aged 59, launched the Right To Know campaign alongside women's rights charity Fawcett Society on Equal Pay Day on November 14.

She has gained more than 50,000 signatures so far, and if 100,000 people sign the petition, it will be debated in Parliament.

Kay teamed up with the charity after she was 'shocked and distraught' to discover her male colleague was being paid £6,000 a year more than her, while they both worked as head chefs at Weston College for catering company Compass.

She took the business to court and won her case against Compass for pay discrimination in 2018, but the experience has cost Kay her job, 'a lot of money and confidence' as well as it having 'a severe impact' on her health and family.

Kay said: "After 10 years of working as a chef, I found out I was being paid much less than my male colleague Chris Hale - even though we did the exact same job.

"He was paid £22,000 a year, I was being paid £6,000 less.

"I was shocked and distraught. I was more qualified and experienced than him, he even wrote a letter in support of my case - but why was he being paid so much more than me for doing the same job?"

Kay worked at the college's Knightstone Campus in the summer months and the South West Skills Campus during the rest of the year.

Kay continued: "For years, I went to work each day without knowing I was being paid less than people I was working alongside, and 50 years on from the Equal Pay Act, it's time to make it fit for purpose.

"We want the Prime Minister to change the law, so women who suspect they aren't being paid fairly in their careers can find out if they are earning less than their male colleagues for working in the same role.

"I was bullied out of my job, and if women have the #RightToKnow, fewer of us will have to go through what I had to."

To sign Kay's petition, click here

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