Action 4 Equality Scotland has today won an appeal against Glasgow City Council on equal pay issues before the Court of Session (Scotland’s highest civil court).
The case centered around a re-grading scheme, which was deemed to be less favourable for women workers and which left female home carers earning thousands of pounds less than their male counterparts in similar jobs like refuse collection.
The judgment, which was handed down today (18 August) quashed an earlier ruling by the Employment Tribunal that had found that the Glasgow City Council's job evaluation scheme had been valid. The Court of Session however found that the burden of proof was with Glasgow City Council to show a valid job evaluation scheme – and they had failed to do so. Glasgow’s City Council’s pay arrangements provide less favourable treatment to thousands of women working in female dominated jobs. This decision is expected to lead to a raft of similar new claims from existing council staff and former employees who left the City Council’s employment within the past 5 years.
Stefan Cross QC, of Action 4 Equality (Scotland), said: "This is really great news for thousands of low paid women workers across Glasgow who put their trust in A4ES to get the job done. We have been saying for years that the City Council could not justify paying highly skilled, hard working staff like Home Carers so much less than gardeners, gravediggers and refuse workers. The A4ES legal team did a fantastic job in the Court of Session and our determination has been vindicated in the end. There is now bound to be a huge influx of new cases against the City Council which faces a mammoth bill of £500 million after stubbornly refusing to face up to its equal pay obligations for the past 12 years. Once again we urge Glasgow City Council to get round the table to resolve these issues once and for all."
Kim Pattullo, employment law partner at Addleshaw Goddard, commenting on the win said: "This is a milestone decision in the context of Equal Pay. Action for Equality Scotland have fought extremely hard for the women of Glasgow City Council and had the vision and determination to see this through to the end. We are really pleased to have supported Action 4 Equality (Scotland) on such an important issue as equal pay."