Landmark Birmingham equal pay ruling may lead to other claims

Yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling that 170 women and four men who worked for Britain’s largest local authority will be able to bring an equal pay case through the civil courts rather than an employment tribunal opens the way for other workers to pursue equal pay compensation claims, extending the time limit from six months to six years.

The 174 former Birmingham city council employees, who left their jobs as cooks, cleaners and care staff between 2004 and 2008, are demanding compensation, claiming the council denied them the extra payments and benefits given to men doing similar jobs.

The council had tried to block the claims, arguing that they should have been made in front an employment tribunal, which have a six-month time limit. The former employees then launched an action for damages in the High Court, which has a time limit of six years for claims cases. They won but the council appealed to the Supreme Court, only to lose again….

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