Legal Updates

Employment Law – Male Groups – Female Groups – Equal Pay

In the recent case of Gibson and others v Sheffield County Council [2009], the Employment Appeals Tribunal (“EAT”) upheld a tribunal decision which stated that any difference in pay that is received by predominantly male groups of employees (For example: sanitation workers, street cleaners and gardeners) and predominantly female groups rated as their equivalents (For example: carers) would not be tainted by sex discrimination.

This means that such differences would not require any objective justification on the part of the employer.

It should be noted that in this case, the difference was principally due to there being in place a genuine productivity bonus. This was paid to the male groups. The employer in this case argued, and the tribunal accepted, that a similar productivity bonus would not have been suitable for positions held by the carers, primarily due to the nature of their work.

The EAT therefore held that the tribunal had been entitled to reach the conclusion that the employer had "negatived the taint of sex in the pay differential". Accordingly, the claims brought by the carers for equal pay were duly dismissed.

If you require further information please contact us at or visit one of the following pages:

© RT COOPERS, 2009. This Briefing Note does not provide a comprehensive or complete statement of the law relating to the issues discussed nor does it constitute legal advice. It is intended only to highlight general issues. Specialist legal advice should always be sought in relation to particular circumstances.




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