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Equal pay

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Sex inequality still deeply rooted

Sex discrimination is still deeply rooted in British society, says Julie Mellor, chair of the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC), in the Commission's 1999/2000 annual report.

Race and disability complaints up 20%

The number of cases of alleged discrimination on grounds of disability and race discrimination received by the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) during 1999/2000 increased by a fifth compared with the previous year, according to the independent arbitration service's latest annual report.

Hospital wins work-life awards

King's College hospital has won two of this year's Employer of the Year awards.

This month's issue . . .

Victims of unlawful discrimination were awarded compensation totalling £2.55 million by employment tribunals in 1999 - almost 30% more than in the previous year - according to our latest survey of compensation awards.

Reforming equality law

UK anti-discrimination law is inconsistent, inaccessible, incomprehensible, and there is too much of it, according to a major new report from the Cambridge Centre for Public Law and the Judge Institute of Management Studies at Cambridge University.

Compensation awards '99

Victims of unlawful discrimination were awarded compensation totalling £2.55 million by employment tribunals in 1999 - almost 30% more than in the previous year - according to our latest survey of compensation awards. We look in detail at the survey's findings below.

Part-time Workers Regulations 2000: An EOR guide

The Part-time Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2000 came into force on 1 July 2000.

This month's issue . . .

Parental leave was introduced in the UK at the end of last year. For the first time, working parents have the right to unpaid leave in order to spend more time with their children. Although employers are only legally bound by a set of minimum standards, EOR has conducted a survey which reveals that over half the employers who responded had enhanced, or intended to enhance, rights to parental leave in one form or another.

ECJ rules in favour of part-timers' pension rights

In Preston and others v Wolverhampton Healthcare NHS Trust and others (16 May 2000) EOR92A, the European Court of Justice rules that s.2(5) of the Equal Pay Act, which provides that a claimant's entitlement to join an occupational pension scheme is limited to a period which starts to run two years prior to the commencement of equal pay proceedings in connection with the claim, contravenes European Community law. [2000] IRLR 506, ECJ

Equal pay case referred to Europe

An equal pay claim brought by women whose pay was reduced when they were transferred from the public sector to the private sector as a result of competitive tendering, has been referred by the Court of Appeal to the European Court of Justice (ECJ).

£12m record equal pay settlement

Hundreds of speech therapists are to share £12m in back-pay to settle their long-running legal battle for equal pay.

This month's issue . . .

At the beginning of the year, EOR looked at the equality initiatives undertaken by the London Fire and Civil Defence Authority and the problems it faced in fostering an environment in which fairness can flourish. In our opening feature article, we look at how a very different brigade, North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, is tackling the need to transform a dominant white culture with insular attitudes into one which actively embraces and values diversity.

Absence of discrimination conclusive

In Glasgow City Council and others v Marshall and others (3 February 2000) EOR91B, the House of Lords rules that an employer who proves the absence of sex discrimination, direct or indirect, is under no obligation to prove a "good" reason for a pay disparity in order to satisfy the defence under the Equal Pay Act. [2000] IRLR 272, HL

Gender pay gap across sectors

Women's average pay is always lower than men's, even in female-dominated sectors and men always comprise the biggest percentage of those in the best-paid jobs, reveals the first ever analysis of the gender pay gap by industrial sector carried out by the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC).

Profile: Christine Hancock

Christine Hancock, general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), caused a furore at the organisation's annual Congress last year by acknowledging that the organisation was institutionally racist. Since then, the RCN has agreed a major plan of action in relation to race equality issues.

The Maternity and Parental Leave Regulations 1999: An EOR guide

The Maternity and Parental Leave etc Regulations 1999 (SI 1999/3312) were approved by Parliament and came into force on 15 December 1999. We present a guide to the Regulations.

Task force recommends changes to disability rights

Proposals for amending the three-year old Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) and expanding the scope of disability rights in future civil rights legislations, have been made by the Disability Rights Task Force (DRTF).

Pay gap widens for personnel directors

Women are rising in the managerial ranks but the pay gap has widened between men and women for those at the top, according to a Reward Group survey of 6,447 jobs from around 1,500 organisations. Women represent the vast majority of personnel managers but only in the lower grades, from junior manager level and below, do they earn more than men, according to the survey.

Equal pay for time off

In Davies v Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council (15 September 1999) EOR88D, the EAT rules that a part-time worker who was given time off to attend a full-time trade union course was entitled under European law to be paid as if she were a full-time worker. [1999] IRLR 769, EAT

Equal Pay Act limit set aside

In Levez v T H Jennings (Harlow Pools) Ltd (No.2) and Hicking v Basford Group Ltd (in receivership) EOR88C, the EAT holds that the two-year limit on back pay in s.2(5) of the Equal Pay Act 1970 contravenes Article 119 of the EC Treaty and must be set aside. Successful equal pay complainants can claim back pay for up to six years from the date proceedings were commenced. [1999] IRLR 764, EAT


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