A FITNESS instructor has been awarded more than £5,000 after taking her employer to a tribunal over equal pay.

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 – part of The Club Company – in September 2009.

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.

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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.

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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 solicitors 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.

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She said: “I feel strongly that just because I am a woman should not mean that I have to accept a lower rate of pay for doing the same job as a man.

“I needed to make a stand to do what is right, not only for financial reasons and to claim the money I was owed but also for other women and future generations.

“Unless individuals make a stand against discrimination and unlawful treatment due to a persons’ gender, nothing will change.”

Mrs Pridsam is still employed at Witney Lakes Resort, and takes several classes a week, including body conditioning, group cycling and aqua aerobics.

The Club Company was contacted for a comment, but declined to offer one.