Equal Pay Update

Judgement has today been given by the Supreme Court in the Equal Pay case of Birmingham City Council v Abdulla and Others . This appeal case arose out of a series of complaints to the employment tribunal that female employees were paid less than comparable male employees. Those earlier cases were successful but a number were not due to the fact that they were brought too late (claims for Equal Pay must be issued in the employment tribunal within 6 months).

The Supreme Court has held that employers who fail to pay their employees (due to their gender) the same pay when carrying out work which is of equal value or substantially the same, is in fact a breach of the implied terms of the contract of employment. A breach of contract claim has a time limit of 6 years of the date of the breach.

This has wide reaching implications for employees and employers alike. Employers are potentially exposed to claims from employees going back 6 years. Employees have now been granted an additional 5 ½ years in which to pursue such a claim.

If you would like to discuss this or any other employment law issues, please contact James Leo by email [email protected]