Equal Pay: Women Win Landmark Ruling
Women who earned less than men on the same pay grade when they worked for a local authority have won a battle for equal pay compensation at the UK's highest court.
The Supreme Court said more than 170 former Birmingham City Council employees could launch compensation claims in the High Court.
Lawyers say the judgment could have "huge implications".
The Supreme Court's decision follows a Court of Appeal ruling in the women's favour.
Judges heard that 170 women were among female workers denied bonuses similar to those handed out to employees in traditionally male-dominated jobs such as refuse collectors, street cleaners, road workers and grave-diggers.
The court was told that, in 2007 and 2008, tens of thousands of pounds were paid to female council employees to compensate them.
More payments have also been made to women who took cases to an employment tribunal.
But only workers still employed or who had recently left were eligible to make claims in a tribunal.
Those who had left earlier were caught by the six-month deadline for launching claims.
To get around the deadline, the women started actions for damages in the High Court, which has a six-year deadline for launching claims.
The city council attempted to have those claims struck out, arguing that under equal pay legislation such claims could only be entertained by an employment tribunal.
Former care assistant Pam Saunders said she was "over the moon" with the decision, adding: "It's thousands of pounds that we've lost. Whatever we get is a bonus."
Law firm Leigh Day & Co described the ruling as "historic".
In a statement it said the judgment "effectively extends the time limit for equal pay claims from six months to six years, the biggest change to equal pay legislation since it was introduced in 1970, with huge implications for thousands of workers".
It said it is bringing claims against Birmingham City Council on behalf of 174 claimants, with another 1,000 claims pending in Birmingham alone.
The firm said that "there are also thousands more claims in other areas around the UK being handled by Leigh Day & Co awaiting this decision".
what do you think?
The only people that win are the lawyers at our expense!!
They always win. Always.
Birmingham council have already paid out thousands to redress this inequality in 2007 & 2008 and more payments have also been made to women who went to employment tribunals. If, having accepted the validity of the womens arguments in these cases why then did the council try to squirm out of their responsibilities to the 174 they still employ??. Suggests Councils think the law applies to everyone else but them as per usual.
Woman should have got equal pay as the men for doing the same job from the beginning.but i agree the lawyers once again have benefited.
Dave surely birmingham city council should have known that when a woman is right their right and when a woman is wrong their still right.lol
Shaun. Never mind Birmingham council all blokes know that.
I personally don't think women should get same as men doing same job unless they do everything a man does.i don't think I could do as much as a man
Thats a nice comment from you diane.its makes a change that a woman admits that shes the weaker sex.lol.
Only in some things ha ha,my hubby is a painer and decorator there is a women on the firm she can't paperhang or do a lot that a man can do. so why should she get paid the same
Im a landscape gardener and also have a girl working for me.okay she cant carry cement bags to and throw to a patio i might be laying. But she makes up for it when it comes to planting around the patio and making the tea.
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When training into jobs we didnt get the same money as the others until we could do everything. Diane is correct - must be able to do same job, and when they do the job better than then men then they should get more money than the men. If I was still at work then I wouldnt care who was fetching the money into the house as long as it was coming in
Diane In a lot of jobs particularly where manual dexterity is required women are better than men I am a little old fashioned in many of my beliefs, but where a woman does the same job as a man she should be paid the same You can not defend the undefendable This could also open up oppertunies for men to submit similar claims
Careful Diane. You will have the sisterhood calling round for a chat and probably to pull your fingernails out. Your right though equal pay should only be for equal work
I agree, however in my job women and men can do exactly the same things. My company pay the same pay scale too. I don't see why they shouldnt
Jo.That is very right and proper Do exactly the same work receive exactly the same pay. Absolutely no disputing that.
In general, over the years, I would say that pound for pound women are better workers than men. Women bosses ar a lot harder on other woman than men are.
I would say that pound for pound women are better workers than men: Why? Lots of women do very well out of maternity allowance. Women bosses are a lot harder on other woman than men are: I agree.
I agree tricky when I had our first I had about 4 weeks money I had decided straight away not to go back and had another 2 that was 31 years ago
worked for woman once never again .
I recon it's Thatchers fault, eh Stephen?
Nice one Rob - you beat me to it! Except you forgot to mention that Blairs a tory too & he carried it on......
Stephen were you in thatchers cabinet and sacked?
I agree. In my experience, women do, in many cases, seem to be more conscientious than men (in my line of work) - though of course there are exceptions. Also in my experience, women bosses are harder on women - and men too!
Ive got to say, im amazed at how many woman seem to be against this judgement.
I think they should nationally address the issue of why young people get less on minimum wage than a different age group, for the same work/output. This is more absurd (imo) and with new rules to hire and fire more readily with less protections being phased in, well, the cynic in me suggests that employers can readily take advantage.
The young have always been explioted.without telling a sob story i only got £25.00 a week on yts and did more labouring than my boss did.and learnt nothing until i went self employed and learnt by experience.the same applies to anyone with the determination.
You have to start somewhere and the young are at the bottom of the rung
shaun.. Yep, done paper rounds, milk rounds and all that malarkey and learnt to put cash away. But, if you look at the banding, then why should these groups:16-18,18-21,22 and over have different hourly rates for the same workload, especially as the government wants them to stay at home with mum and dad until they are 25 anyway? Still, there is the games-maker rate below that scale;)
Really? lol .....Under 18s have longer breaks and are not required to work as many hours, have longer rest periods and I could go on. Maybe that is why?
The young should get the proper adult rate for the job. It's just another section of society that is getting exploited.
I think they should be better respected where pay is concerned - definitely; however, I suppose the money just goes up in increments as in any job where you get more with experience.
Maybe the woman should play for the mens football team. ?
Id look forward to when they exchange shirts at the end of the game.
Don't get me started on womens football
Why cant i get i get you started on womans football.
Because u absolutely hate it.when my son was in primary school and in the football team rhey were having training the weather was awful rain thunder thw mums of the girl said surely they aren't goung to play in that so I replied the lads do
Sorry meant I hate it
I wont ask you abouts womans rugby then.
Its rather funny really.the other day my son got upset cos he wouldnt go to his scout group. We didnt understand why because hes been going for two years .then suddenly he said all his freinds had left and that there are only girls there now
Why do women tennis players get the same pay as men at Wimbledon They only play the best of 3 where men play best of 5 I see a legal claim coming up here
so thats millions more to pay out in compensation. who's gonna foot the bill?
If it's a council council tax payers I expect
Traditional sections of the Asian community are (rightly) to be criticised for their attitudes towards women, an attitude that can lead to the ridicule, subordination, and, taken to the extreme, abuse and murder of women. Likewise, such attitudes are alive and well in our own community if some of the comments on here can be taken as an example. Of course, I'm not suggesting any of our 'commenteers' would commit such heinous offences as abuse or murder, yet those 'attitudes' of ridiculing and patronising women, in the workplace, in play and leisure, in all realms of life, do play a part in preparing the ground for those who would commit such offences. And it's also telling how effective this all pervading climate can be when even one woman can join in with denigrating her own sex.
in an ideal world women should not work, they should be supported and cared for by there husbands. but sadly we dont live in an ideal world, hence they deserve every penny they get:)
Would you like to borrow my jacket Ali ? Must be cold back there in the fifties.
is that the 1850s
Yes - get some heating for that cave of yours - the nights are drawing in! ;-)
What is confusing here is the fact that it was not specifically MEN who were given bonuses, but those "in traditionally male-dominated jobs such as refuse collectors, street cleaners, road workers and grave-diggers". So did some female workers get the bonuses? Also, it would seem likely that some men in the less "traditionally male-dominated jobs" may also have missed out. I fail to see how this was a gender issue if women are free to do the traditionally male-dominated jobs. It seems simply unfair that some are given bonuses and others aren't, regardless of what's in their pants.
Pay scales are equal in my line of work for men and women - each, regardless of sex, should be able to do the job to the same standard. If one isn't up to the job - for whatever reason - they shouldn't get past the interview - simple!