1975 saw a convergence of legal and political movement, and social change in the UK and beyond. The Equal Pay Act came into force, the Sex Discrimination Act was passed, women obtained legal protection in employment in regards to maternity leave and pregnancy discrimination, and the European Commission Directive on Equal Pay adopted the principle of ‘equal value’.

Equal Pay

Equal Pay Act in force

The Equal Pay Act 1970 had made a five year provision for employers to make the necessary changes to implement the requirements of the Act to bring women’s pay into line with men doing ‘like work’.  The Act came into force on 29 December 1975, the same day as the Sex Discrimination Act.

European Commission Directive on Equal Pay adopts the principle of Equal Value

In February 1975, The EC Directive on Equal Pay (75/117/EEC (Equal Pay) ) adopted the principle of equal value, requiring member states to address, “stated that the principle of equal pay in Article 119 of the EC Treaty, “for the same work or for work to which equal value is attributed, the elimination of all discrimination on grounds of sex with regard to all aspects and conditions of remuneration,” and protect employees from negative consequences for seeking to be paid equally.