21 October 2009
Woman wins landmark pay discrimination case
A woman who alleged pay discrimination against her employer due to a dispute over its length of service remuneration rules has won her case today through the Court of Appeal (October 20th).
Christine Wilson claimed that the Health and Safety Executive's policy of linking salary to the number of years an employee has worked for the organisation was unfair, as it was prejudiced against females who broke their continuous service record through pregnancy.
Director of legal enforcement at the Equality and Human Rights Commission Susie Uppal said: "Women should not be disadvantaged in the workforce because [they] take time out for maternity leave or to meet caring responsibilities."
It follows a recent study by the organisation that revealed females in Britain's top finance businesses receive 80 per cent less than their male counterparts in performance-related pay.
According to Ms Uppal, gender inequality in the workplace is exacerbated by "a lack of flexible working options" and "direct discrimination".
Ms Wilson's solicitor, Emma Hawksworth of Russell Jones & Walker, commented: "The Court of Appeal's judgment in Christine Wilson's case has confirmed that employers cannot continue to structure pay scales in this way where that is inappropriate and leads to women being paid less to do the same jobs as men.
"Employers need to give careful thought as to whether extra years in the job really do lead to better performance and if so for how long."
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