GMB Members In Sheffield City Council Win Landmark Equal Pay Victory

11 Feb 2010

The original tribunal hearing their claims in March 2008 decided that because they were employed as carers they were not entitled to be paid the same bonuses as their male colleagues working in highways and street cleansing.  The Court of Appeal has now overturned that finding and sent the claims back to the Sheffield tribunal to determine them. In doing so it roundly rejected as perverse the original tribunal’s reasoning that pay differentials between carers who are nearly all women and men were not tainted by sex because the type of productivity bonus arrangement the men enjoyed could not be applied to women’s work. It will now be for the tribunal in Sheffield to determine whether the employer can objectively justify the payments made to the men. It has already found that there was no justification in relation to our women members who work as cleaners who have brought similar claims. The GMB are supporting a further 600 equal pay claims which will benefit from this decision for women who are employed in carer roles such as passenger escort, supervisory assistant and home support. These are claims for equal pay with men employed as street cleansing workers and gardeners who earn bonuses of 33.3% & 38% based on their basic pay.

Tim Roache, GMB Regional Secretary said, “I am pleased that the Court of Appeal has at last seen the merit in our members’ claims. I am enormously proud of our women members who have stood together and fought for their rights despite their claims having been rejected by both the employment tribunal and the appeal tribunal.”

Pete Davies, GMB Organisation Officer for Sheffield City Council said “We call on Sheffield City Council to meet with us to resolve these claims quickly and without wasting yet more council tax payers money on costly litigation.”