UK

Female fitness instructor wins £5,000 equal pay battle after male trainers were paid more per class

Fitness instructor who took leisure centre to employment tribunal after female trainers were paid £5 less for classes than men is awarded £5,000

  • Maxine Pridsam, 49, found out female trainers were being paid £5 less per hour than the male trainer while working for the Club Company in Witney, Oxfordshire
  • Mrs Pridsam had been working for company for nine years when she found out
  • The fitness instructor said that the pay discrepancy left her feeling undervalued
  • Trainer represented herself at an employment tribunal and was awarded £5,000 

A fitness instructor has been awarded more than £5,000 after taking her employer to a tribunal when she discovered male trainers were being paid a higher hourly rate.

Maxine Pridsam represented herself during the week-long employment tribunal, after she found out male instructors were being paid more than female ones.

Mrs Pridsam started working at Witney Lakes Resort in Oxfordshire – part of The Club Company – in September 2009.

Fitness instructor Maxine Pridsam, 49, has been awarded more than £5,000 after taking her employer to a tribunal when she discovered male trainers were being paid a higher hourly rate

However, it wasn’t until 2018 that she found out male instructors were being paid £25 per class – compared to women instructors who were being paid a £20 rate.

The 49-year-old said: ‘I always felt quite valued and respected, and that when I told them about the pay, I might even get thanked for raising the problem, but I ended up feeling undervalued.

‘I feel empowered now though, and that I’ve started a precedent for other people.’

Mrs Pridsam, who has been a fitness instructor and personal trainer in Witney for over 20 years, added: ‘We had the same qualifications and experience so why should I have been paid less?’

She said the resort is mainly made up of women coaches, and that when she was covering classes for male instructors, she would receive the lower rate, however when men were covering her, they would continue to be paid the higher rate.

Maxine Pridsam

Maxine Pridsam

Maxine Pridsam, who has more than 20 years experience, represented herself at the tribunal and say when she found out about the pay discrepancy she was left feeling undervalued

She represented herself during the employment tribunal, which decided her contract is to be modified to provide her the £25 rate for classes, and that she is to be awarded £5,098.48.

‘I’ve not had a solicitor at all, I’ve done this by myself and fought it by myself,’ she said.

‘It was a stressful learning curve but I’m very proud of myself – it’s pretty much been a part-time job chasing this.’

Mrs Pridsam said she hoped the outcome of the tribunal would inspire other women to seek equal pay.

The Club Company has been contacted for comment. 

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