What Is Internal Equity? 10 Facts You Need To Know

When you’re running a small business, thinking about how you’re going to pay and retain Although the day-to-day duties of these personnel may be vastly different, their job titles may be sufficiently comparable to earn a similar pay rate.

Remember that equivalent roles must be compensated in the same manner for all employees at that level, regardless of the method you pick.

We’ll address your questions on what internal equity is, why it’s essential, and how you can begin to construct a long-term employee compensation structure that will keep your team satisfied.

What Is Internal Equity?

Simply expressed, internal equity implies that individuals with similar roles or skill sets inside a firm are treated similarly, whether in terms of compensation or any other perks that come with the position. In other words, internal equality entails equal compensation for equal work.

What Is Internal Equity?

Legally, you are required to treat all of your employees fairly and equitably. The Federal Equal Pay Act of 1963 clearly forbids gender-based discrimination between men and women employed by the same company in positions requiring “same skill level, effort, or responsibility.” This also includes expense accounts, bonuses, and other non-monetary benefits.

Depending on the form of your firm, there are many methods to construct your internal pay structure while remaining in compliance with the law.

For instance, you may declare that all director-level employees, regardless of department, be provided a salary within a specified range, as well as a certain amount of vacation and sick days.

While the day-to-day duties of these personnel may be vastly dissimilar, their job titles may be sufficiently comparable to earn a similar pay rate.

Remember that comparable roles must be compensated in the same manner for all employees at that level, regardless of the method you pick.

How Is Internal Equity Different from External Equity?

While internal equity focuses on pay equality within and across the firm, external equity is also a critical consideration when determining employee remuneration. This involves taking into consideration what comparable employment in your industry are being paid on the external market.

Exploring market data on a regular basis is essential in order to be current on current rates and job descriptions for the various roles for which your company may be employing.

Leadership should collaborate closely with the human resources (HR) staff to have a deeper understanding of market rates and to offer competitive pay and benefits to any job-seeking candidates.

Region- and industry-specific statistics are useful for comparison; after all, the pay expectations of recent college graduates in a big city or metropolitan region will be vastly different from those in a rural area.

It is ridiculous to believe that your small business would be able to match the wage level of a global firm, but there are other perks that your recruiting team can use to market your company as an attractive place to work.

How Do You Calculate Internal Equity?

Combining your internal and external research on pay equity is the best method to begin resolving any inequities in your organization’s pay ranges.

Work with your HR department to perform audits at least once a year to evaluate the existing salary and skill levels in each department. Don’t forget to include any extra information on non-monetary employee benefits.

Using a site such as PayScale, compare this information to industry and area market statistics to determine whether or not your product is competitive.

You will be able to discover where you may be falling short with existing employees and take efforts to rectify the situation, such as increasing salary for both existing and new team members.

Lead the Way as a Fair Pay Employer

In the end, it is your responsibility to choose how much you should pay your staff. By boosting pay structure transparency and fairness, you will increase the likelihood that your employees will remain satisfied and that your organization will continue to thrive.

What Is Internal Equity?

Creating Fair Pay in the Workplace

You may take a few actions to create and maintain internal equity to guarantee that each employee is compensated fairly and uniformly. Follow these three actions routinely (e.g., yearly) to ensure compliance.

1. Conduct internal audits

An internal audit is one of the most effective means of establishing equitable compensation in the workplace. Thus, you can compare the present salaries of each employee and confirm that everything is fair and equal.

You may compare the following across each position, department, etc. throughout your audit:

  • Position descriptors and titles
  • Payroll costs
  • Additional payment
  • Intangible advantages
  • Education, proficiency, and work experience

You should be prepared to justify your judgments on employee compensation if there are employees with differing pay despite doing identical duties. When determining an employee’s compensation, you should record all of the influencing elements.

During the audit, if you detect any differences, take notes and make any required revisions.

Roy Morejon, president and co-founder of Enventys Partners, spoke on the need of performing audits for internal equity:

Internal equity refers to equitable remuneration inside a particular workplace, and the most effective approach to preserve it is to invest in evaluating your compensation systems on a regular basis.

The best method to guarantee there are no disparities in salaries or other perks for staff with similar duties is to conduct internal audits.

2. Look into external equity

Remember our conversation on external equity? Indeed, you will utilize this to your advantage to guarantee that equal compensation is offered.

Consider external equity in order to design a compensation structure that is equitable. Investigate how much other firms pay for comparable roles. You may do an external equity study with the assistance of tools such as PayScale and gain information into the typical pay of various occupations in specific regions.

Consider making revisions if you discover significant discrepancies in salary ranges during your investigation.

3. Be transparent

Employers cannot prohibit employees from discussing wages and other terms of employment with one another (verbally or in writing). As a result, employees may possibly negotiate wages.

To prevent disagreements and problems in the workplace, employees should be informed of their salary. Inform each employee of the internal and external data and methods used to decide their compensation.

If an employee ever inquires about their compensation, you can provide detailed justification for your decision (and be sure to document it, too).

Internal equity example

Consider that you run a bakery and employ two decorators. The decorators have identical duties, responsibilities, and weekly work hours. Since the duties and responsibilities of the decorators are comparable, they should be compensated similarly.

Now, suppose that one of the decorators enrolls in advanced baking and decorating classes at school. You can justify paying the decorator a larger salary due to their superior skill set.

Why is Internal Equity Important?

There are several reasons why internal equity is essential. First, it guarantees that employees are compensated and rewarded equitably.

What Is Internal Equity?

In turn, this contributes to the creation of a healthy work environment and the promotion of employee loyalty. In addition, internal equity ensures that the organization can recruit and retain outstanding people.

By providing competitive pay and benefits, the firm is able to recruit the most qualified individuals and encourage them to remain with the company for the long term.

Lastly, internal justice may increase productivity by making staff feel valued and appreciated. When workers believe they are being treated fairly, they are more likely to be productive and engaged at work. As a consequence, internal equity is vital for the success of every business.

Why Is Fair Pay Important for Both Employees and Business Owners?

Implementing an internal equity policy inside your firm has several advantages. Here are a few of the major advantages.

1. You’re More Likely to Retain Your Top Team Members

It is now easier than ever for your employees to learn what their coworkers or individuals in your region with comparable employment are earning.

If members of your team discover that they are being underpaid, it is quite probable that they will quickly join a rival company. The perception of unequal remuneration, even if it is not the case in fact, frequently causes employees to doubt their standing within the organization.

As a business owner, you should constantly be thinking about customer retention. It is far more expensive to acquire and educate new employees than it is to continue working with existing ones; therefore, addressing internal equality and building a more transparent remuneration structure would assist to minimize future employee conflict.

2. It Mitigates the Risk of Discrimination Lawsuits

Using external market data to guide your company’s payscales and concentrating on internal equity might reduce the likelihood of an equal pay litigation.

The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 allows employees to bring a lawsuit within 180 days of their most recent payment, as opposed to the date on which the discrimination began.

The Act intends to offer workers with more protection against discrimination, but it also exposes your company to the danger of a lawsuit if an unhappy employee learns that they are not being paid the same as someone in a comparable position.

While the majority of legislation pertaining to equal pay are enacted at the federal level, it is crucial to be aware of any state-specific policies and procedures that may affect your organization. A prime example is the California Fair Pay Act.

Not only do the federal Equal Pay Act regulations apply in California, but this state obligation also requires companies to pay equal compensation to anybody performing equivalent work and protects employees from discrimination and punishment if they discuss their salary freely.

3. You Help Fight the Gender and Race Pay Gap

According to a recent research by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, women’s yearly earnings in 2020 were 82.3% of men’s, or 82 cents for every dollar a male in a comparable occupation earned.

In addition to the gender pay gap, the racial pay gap data are as bleak. In fact, it is anticipated that over the course of a 40-year career, Black and Latina women will incur earnings losses of over $1 million.

What Is Internal Equity?

While the majority of people are aware of wage inequalities between men and women, more than half of Americans in 2019 were unaware of a racial pay difference between Black and white women with equivalent levels of education.

Before we can declare that everyone is compensated equally for their effort, we still have a ways to go. Nevertheless, by ensuring that all of your team members are fairly rewarded, your company not only increases its market competitiveness, but also exhibits a commitment to diversity and inclusion.

How Human Resources safeguards Internal Equity and what is the role of HR Managers

Human resources play a crucial role in preserving internal equity in a firm. By incorporating essential ideas into different HR procedures, they ensure that all team members are treated uniformly by management.

This involves ensuring that everyone has access to the same resources and information and that decisions are made fairly and impartially.

Moreover, human resources contribute to the creation of a level playing field by ensuring that all employees have the same benefits, working conditions, and growth possibilities.

Recruitment and Staffing

The fundamental premise of recruiting and selection is that everyone should have equal job prospects, including a level playing field between internal and external talent.

The term “equal opportunity employer” often refers to a business that does not discriminate against workers or job seekers on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, handicap, or other protected characteristics.

A company that provides equal employment opportunities makes hiring choices purely on the basis of an applicant’s qualifications and ability to do the job.

In order to encourage diversity and inclusion in the workplace, a large number of businesses have developed policies and procedures that guarantee equal chances to all employees.

This involves making training and development programs accessible to all employees, regardless of their experience or background. In addition, equal opportunity businesses often have procedures prohibiting workplace harassment and discrimination.

As the initial point of contact for many workers, Human Resources plays a crucial role in establishing the company’s culture. This entails building a fair and transparent recruitment process for all candidates, internal and external alike.

There are several approaches to attain this objective. First, it is essential to ensure that all individuals have access to the same information and resources. For instance, all candidates should receive the same job description and be able to ask questions throughout the process.

Second, the evaluation criteria should be uniformly applied to all candidates. This will ensure that everyone has an equal opportunity to be picked for the post.

Lastly, it is crucial to offer quick feedback to all applicants, regardless of their achievement. By adhering to these rules, Human Resources can level the playing field for all applicants and guarantee that the most qualified candidate is eventually chosen.

Organization Design

A company’s internal fairness is dependent on its organizational structure. Organization Design may assist to level the playing field for all employees by clearly defining job roles and duties and by matching job descriptions with business objectives.

A well-designed organization guarantees that job descriptions and responsibilities are clear and distinct. This helps guarantee that staff are held accountable for their performance by reducing misunderstanding and ambiguity.

In addition, organization design may assist guarantee that job functions stay relevant and that individuals are held accountable for their performance by periodically evaluating and revising job descriptions.

By introducing new job titles and articulating expectations explicitly, firms may ensure that all employees have an equal opportunity to thrive.

Lastly, organization design may help businesses remain adaptable and responsive to change by introducing new positions as required.

By adhering to these guiding principles, businesses may guarantee that their Organization Design fosters internal justice and cultivates a healthy work environment for all workers.

Compensation and Benefits

Ensure internal fairness is one of the most crucial components of pay and benefits. Work Design, precise job descriptions, and the creation of new job positions are all important factors that can aid in the accomplishment of this objective.

What Is Internal Equity?

By taking the effort to establish jobs that are fair and appropriately reflect the demands of each position, businesses can ensure that all employees are paid fairly.

Moreover, detailed job descriptions aid in avoiding uncertainty and ambiguity regarding each role’s responsibilities. Lastly, introducing new job roles often guarantees that all employees are appropriately paid for their efforts by keeping the salary and benefits structure current.

By adhering to these principles, businesses may build a framework for remuneration and benefits that is fair and equal for all employees.

When establishing a base wage policy, businesses must maintain internal equity. This requires taking into account employment levels, market remuneration, and internal equity.

Job Levels should be matched with industry norms to guarantee that workers are compensated fairly for their job. Internal equity should also be considered in order to guarantee that individuals with comparable job levels and experience are compensated similarly.

Organizations may create a wage strategy that is both outwardly competitive and internally equitable by taking into account the aforementioned elements.

As an essential element of internal fairness, organizations must carefully analyze compensation scales. Pay ranges serve as the basis for pay choices, such as determining the starting salary for new recruits and providing merit increments.

They also guarantee that pay levels are competitive and consistent with the organization’s compensation plan. When creating pay scales, businesses should consider market rates, the cost of living, and internal equity.

Pay Ranges should be sufficiently broad to enable a range of pay decisions, but not so broad as to lose their significance.

By carefully examining pay ranges as a critical component of their compensation strategies, firms may ensure that pay levels are equitable, competitive, and in line with their company objectives.

Performance Management

The act of establishing goals is the initial stage in performance management and is essential for guaranteeing internal fairness. The goal-setting process should be cascading, which means that objectives should be defined beginning at the top of the company and cascading downward.

It contributes to internal fairness by ensuring that everyone is aware of their responsibilities and how their performance will be judged. The concept of cascading objectives guarantees that everyone is working towards the same overarching objective and is on the same page.

Feedback is another essential component of goal-setting. It should be provided on a regular basis and be based on facts and statistics.

This ensures that goals are attainable and staff are informed of their progress. By adhering to these procedures, businesses may guarantee that their goal-setting process is successful and equitable.

Talent Management and Succession Planning

Both talent management and succession planning are essential organizational techniques for promoting internal equity. Talent management is the act of identifying persons with leadership potential and providing them with the necessary growth chances for success.

This guarantees that a talent pipeline exists to fill future openings in an equitable and transparent way. Succession planning takes a step further by identifying particular candidates who are prepared to assume a leadership position in the case of a vacancy.

This ensures leadership continuity and merit-based advancements. Together, these two tactics contribute to the development of a fair and transparent promotion process that promotes internal equity.

How Do I Know If My Organization Has an Issue with Internal Pay Equity?

There are techniques to determine if your organization has an internal pay equity problem. The hints come not just from your employees’ complaints, but also from a detailed examination of your company’s HR rules.

Indicators of Possible Pay Inequity

  • Regarding pay and promotions, workers express discontent.
  • An audit exposes disparities in remuneration between demographic groupings, such as ethnicities and genders.
  • The organization lacks a structured procedure for reviewing and determining pay, as well as predicting promotion ranges.

You may not be sure if your organization has internal pay equity. Or perhaps you know how much people are paid but have not taken the time to compare their talents, education, and experience to those of their peers.

If, after reviewing the above list, you are concerned that your organization may be at danger of pay disparity, you need not panic. Rather, use this as a chance to build a pay equality system. Review the following measures to help guarantee that your compensation practices are equitable.

Step 1: Become an Expert on the Jobs Within Your Organization

It is essential to have a thorough awareness of the sorts of work performed by your personnel in all sectors of your organization. You should determine the required knowledge, education, and experience. This data will not only guide your internal pay choices, but will also provide the necessary proof to support them.

Obtain information. Evaluate the needed knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSA) for each position or position category. If you are requested to produce evidence supporting a compensation decision in the future, it would be beneficial if you have already collected extensive employment information.

Consider parallels. Create a mechanism for classifying comparable tasks. This will prevent you from assigning multiple job titles to individuals who do the same duties.

What Is Internal Equity?

Be fair. Ensure that your grouping system examines the role and contribution of each employee using the same criteria. Then, you may place these groups with comparable duties or KSAs in the same pay grade.

Step 2: Conduct an Internal Analysis of Your Pay Practices

Now is the moment to shift your attention to your present compensation structure and diligently seek for potential issue areas, such as unexplained internal pay disparities.

Utilize modern technologies to your advantage. Utilize the many sorts of reports provided by your HRIS or a website that provides salary information online.

These reports may help you swiftly scan your whole organization and zero in on potential trouble areas, such as an employee with a low or high compa-ratio.

Prepare to defend your position. Once you are aware of any internal pay disparities that you believe to be justifiable, you are able to provide evidence to support your choice.

Fix mistakes. If you identify unjustifiable pay disparities, you should either freeze certain salaries or increase others to rectify the problem.

Step 3: Compare Your Positions with the External Market Value

By analyzing the external employment market, you will be able to determine where your salaries stand in relation to those of other firms in your field.

In addition, an external compensation analysis will provide you with additional data that will eventually assist you in justifying pay practices.

Look outdoors. Collect external market pay information from a reputable source in order to compare your internal pay ranges for specific roles to those of your rivals.

Get the facts. Ensure that the jobs examined in your external market study match your existing roles as nearly as possible in terms of experience level, education, certifications, and work location.

Persuade the leadership. As you conclude your analysis of the external market, bear in mind that the data you collect will be used to explain compensation choices to your organization’s leadership.

Keep in mind, however, that even if you have internal pay equity, if your compensation is too low relative to the external market, you will have difficulty acquiring and retaining talent. It is crucial that employees believe they are adequately rewarded.

According to research, employees who believe they are paid less than the market and/or less than their peers pose a danger of leaving their jobs.


Internal equity refers to a variety of factors about a worker’s perception of the earnings he or she obtains in comparison to views or observations of the wages he or she should receive.

In other words, employees assess their existing employment status by comparing the compensation they receive for their services to the effort and expertise necessary to fulfill those jobs.

It is also the examination of an employee’s worth to the firm, as well as the employee’s appraisal of the pay structure differences across companies.

5/5 - (1 vote)
Pat Moriarty
Follow me

Leave a Comment