30 April 2014
Men Win Sex Discrimination Case
Sex discrimination cases often focus on women being paid less than their male counterparts for doing the same or similar jobs, but one recent sex discrimination claim saw the roles reversed.
Male caretakers and maintenance staff won the right to receive the same pay as female colleagues after the University of Wales Trinity Saint David stated it would no longer contest the issue.
Some 18 employees of University of Wales Trinity Saint David were involved in the sex discrimination claim, which is believed to be the first of its kind, in terms of the number of people involved.
Initially, the men were employed by Swansea Metropolitan University. Then, in August 2013, the university merged with University of Wales Trinity Saint David, which subsequently became their employer. The claimants were originally on contracts which guaranteed them a minimum of 45 hours per week. Then new regulations were introduced that meant their working weeks were reduced to 37 hours.
Employers of the 18 men said they were prepared to guarantee them the additional eight hours work, but explained that it would have to be classed as overtime.
It wasn't until the new system came into place that the University of Wales Trinity Saint David employees realised the rate they were paid per hour was less than their female counterparts.
Rob Cooze, one of the claimants said, "We didn't want it to come to this really, but we're glad that common sense has prevailed."
He went on to speak of his relief that the case had reached a conclusion, leaving him and his colleagues to "get on with [their] ordinary working days".
Mr Cooze suggested that the case had a negative impact on the group of men, as they did not feel that they were being listened to.
Peter Wallington QC, who was representing the university concluded, "In light of the evidence that was agreed this morning, I have taken some further instructions from the respondents who concede the (claim of) equal pay was well founded."
Posted by Chris Stevenson
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