Gender pay equality case could open floodgates
More women could bring compensation claims for equal pay following a ground-breaking ruling by the UK's Supreme Court.
The court decided in favour of 174 women formerly employed by Birmingham City Council who complained that they received less benefits than those received by staff in male dominated jobs. Leigh Day & Co, the law firm which represented the women in the class-action gender discrimination case, declared victory yesterday in a ruling they are calling ‘historic.’ Birmingham Council attempted to have the claims dismissed, claiming that they should have been heard at the employment tribunal which limits claims to be made within six months of employment.
The Supreme Court ruling allows equal pay claims to be heard in civil courts, which have a six year time limit. Councils claimed not to be unduly worried by the ruling. ‘Court action is usually more expensive to bring than tribunal claims and the financial risk is greater because the expectation is that the losing side has to pay the winner’s costs,’a spokesperson for the Local Government Association’ told The Guardian newspaper. However, Leigh Day said it had another 1000 cases pending in Birmingham alone as well as thousands across the country.