Thousands of women workers win £50m equal pay claim

Thousands of women have won an equal pay claim estimated to be worth a total of £50m in a dispute dating back over several years.

The 6,000 women all worked for Glasgow City Council in a variety of low-paid roles including carers, caterers and cleaners.

The issue arose following several successful pay claims against the council in 2006. The council responded by introducing payment protections that upheld the earnings of the women’s male colleagues.

The Employment Tribunal ruled that these protections were not available to the women employees and so were discriminatory. That decision has now been upheld by the Scottish Court of Session.

A council spokesman said that it had implemented a new pay and benefits structure to ensure equal pay more than 10 years ago.

He added:  "The matter before the court on this occasion related to the initial implementation of that scheme - and, more specifically, the decision to offer a three-year period of payment protection as a 'soft landing' for members of the workforce facing a drop in earnings.”

Susan Aitken, leader of Glasgow City Council, said: "This is a complex legal ruling. However, it is now clear that the award of pay protection was done in a way which discriminated against some of our female workers at that time.

"The right thing to do now is for the council to have open discussions with those workers and their representatives about how we give effect to this ruling. I hope there will be goodwill on both sides during those discussions."

It’s estimated that the cost of settling all the claims could reach £50m.


Please contact Paul Stevens  on 020 8290 7422 or email if you would like more information about the issues raised in this article or any aspect of employment law.


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