A legal claim based on alleged pay discrimination has been won by a large group of females who used to work for a local authority in the West Midlands.
According to the BBC, judges at the Court of Appeal have ruled that Birmingham City Council breached the Equal Pay Act 1970 in the case of 174 ex-employees after the body stood against an original decision by the High Court last year.
This could represent something of a landmark case, as it may permit prospective claimants of discrimination in both the public and private arenas to press ahead with their cases even after the traditional tribunal time limits have passed.
In this instance, the females - who worked predominantly in roles such as cleaning and catering - insisted their employer unfairly denied them access to bonuses given to their male colleagues in other roles.
Slater and Gordon Employment Solicitor Emma Hawksworth said, "This is a very welcome decision. While the claimants in this case have not yet achieved justice, they have been allowed to bring their claim in the high court where they are not time barred as they are with the employment tribunal.
"Equal pay claims can be difficult to bring. This gives women options and ensures they are not restricted by employment tribunals rules which force them to act quickly. In the future, it will still be best in most cases if a claim can be brought at the Employment Tribunal within six months of leaving employment.
"However, provided the claim is brought within six years, the High Court or County Court will be available as a fall back for cases that are outside the time limit of the Tribunal. This is very good news for women who have suffered discrimination but have so far been unable to bring a claim for whatever reason."
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Posted by Francesca Witney