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Landmark Decision On Equal Pay For Birmingham Women

The Supreme Court has decided that some equal pay cases can be brought before the civil courts instead of the employment tribunal. 170 women who have worked for Birmingham City Council did not receive bonuses and launched compensation claims in the high court last year. The city council attempted to have the claims struck out, arguing that they should only be brought  before an employment tribunal. However, the Court of Appeal said last November that the women were eligible to bring their claim before the High Court. Birmingham city council appealed the decision which was dismissed on October 24th this year by the Supreme Court. The court’s ruling effectively extends the time limit for bringing a case to 6 years, which is customary for civil courts, rather than the 6 month time limit of the employment tribunal. Leigh Day & Co. Solicitors report that this is “the biggest change to Equal Pay legislation since it was introduced in 1970, with huge implications for thousands of workers”. This means that it could be possible to launch equal pay claims up to six years after leaving an employer.

Employment Law