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Changing the law on equal pay - test case (Sharpe)

15 January 2010

Sharp v Caledonia Group Services Limited

We succeeded in persuading the Employment Appeals Tribunal to depart from a previous ruling by applying European caselaw, thereby instituting a change in the law. The EAT extended the requirement for employers to objectively justify pay differences to all equal pay claims. Our client was employed by an established city institution but was paid significantly less than her male colleagues. While her specific role was different to other employees, the tribunal agreed that her work is of equal value. This test case was funded by the Equal Opportunities Commission and is now proceeding to the Court of Appeal. If the case is upheld, it will ensure that tribunals can look behind the reasons put forward by employers for differences in pay to test their fairness and validity.

Julie Morris acted on this case.