Cleaners win discrimination court case

By February 16, 2010Articles

Cleaners win discrimination court case

A judge has ruled that a local authority acted unfairly by paying cleaners different salaries on the basis of gender. An Appeal Court ruled that Sheffield City Council’s unequal pay between male and female workers “was tainted by sex”.

The court heard how women in equivalent job categories were being paid 33 per cent less than predominantly male street cleaners and 38 per cent less than gardeners and similar employees.

As a result of the ruling, Sheffield City Council will have to give out potentially large sums of compensation to female employees who have been paid up to 38 per cent less than their male counterparts for decades.

The female workers argued that an earlier decision made at the European Court of Justice applied to them and that as bonuses were unfairly beneficial to male workers, the council had to prove a gender free reason why they were paid. Bronwyn McKenna, of Unison, said:

“This ruling will give other women taking similar claims against councils across the country hope that they too can get the fair pay and equal treatment they deserve.”

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