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Equal pay ruling in favour of male employees

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An Employment Appeal Tribunal has made a landmark ruling in the case of 300 male employees claiming equal pay with women.

The men all work for three councils in the north east of England in low paid jobs.

Claims made by female employees, who had been paid less than men for doing similar kinds of work, had already been settled in the women’s favour.

The men, who are employed as caretakers, drivers and attendants, lodged their claims at the same time over what they described as discriminatory bonuses paid to other male employees such as gardeners.

But while the women won their case and were given back pay in compensation, the men received nothing and continued to be paid less than both their male and female colleagues.

Now an Employment Appeal Tribunal has judged that the men should receive the same settlement as the women.

Mr Justice Underhill said: “It would be surprising and unsatisfactory if the Equal Pay Act offered no remedy to men in a situation like the present.

“The case where men and women do the same job but receive different rates of pay is the paradigm of the kind of situation which the Act was intended to prevent, how would it seem if the roles were reversed and the ‘piggyback’ claimants were not men but women?”

Some 12,000 similar cases brought by male employees may now proceed on the same grounds.