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Judge says equal pay cases reaching epidemic proportions

An Appeal Court judge says equal pay cases are at “almost epidemic proportions” and show little sign of decreasing.

Lord Justice Mummery said 30 years of litigation had done little to eradicate the problem of unjustified pay discrimination. His comments followed a number of high profile cases including one involving the Audit Commission and nine of its female employees.

He said: “Over 30 years of litigation have not eradicated unjustified pay discrimination against both women and men. Equal pay litigation in the Employment Tribunals has now reached almost epidemic proportions.”

“The long-term goal of the equal pay legislation, which has been in force since 1975, is not, of course, interminable litigation between waged workers and their employers about their rights. They all have other things to do and to spend their money on. The aim is the elimination of sex discrimination against women and against men in matters of pay.

“Putting that uncontroversial aim into practice is taking a very long time indeed.”

One of the reasons for the high number of claims is that more employees, especially women, are becoming more aware of their rights. There have also been a number of cases involving claims dating back several years.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the issues raised in this article or any aspect of employment law.