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Equal pay

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£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

Equal value update

Here we present our latest review of equal value developments.

Pregnancy discrimination persists

In this article, Alice Leonard, the Equal Opportunities Commission's (EOC) Head of Legal and Advice Services describes the results of a recent EOC survey on pregnancy dismissal, outlines the demographic developments and highlights some of the EOC's work on pregnancy and maternity rights.

Equal opportunities policies: an EOR survey of employers

Given this constantly changing equal opportunities environment, EOR conducted a survey of employers to find out what it means in practice to be an equal opportunities employer. In this article we present the key findings from the survey.

Different qualifications negate same work

In Angestelltenbetriebsrat der Wiener Gebietskrankenkasse v Wiener Gebietskrankenkasse (11 May 1999) EOR86A, the European Court of Justice rules that European Community law does not require the same salaries to be paid to psychotherapists with different training and qualifications. [1999] IRLR 804, ECJ

Compensation awards '98 - a record year

1998 was a record-breaking year for compensation awards in cases of unlawful discrimination, according to our annual compensation survey. We look in detail at the survey's findings.

Sex Discrimination (Gender Reassignment) Regulations: an EOR guide

The Sex Discrimination (Gender Reassignment) Regulations 19991 were laid before Parliament on 9 April and came into force on 1 May 1999.

Limit to equal pay comparison

In Lawrence and others v Regent Office Care Ltd and others (5 November 1998) EOR84C, the EAT holds that former employees of a county council, who are now employed by private contractors, are not entitled to bring an equal pay claim relying on Article 119 of the EC Treaty comparing themselves with current employees of the council whose work had been rated as equivalent to their own. [1999] IRLR 148, EAT

A war on racism in the Armed Forces

In 1996, the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE) declared war on the Armed Forces. Two years later, in the words of General Sir Charles Guthrie, Chief of Defence Staff, the Armed Forces have themselves declared war on racism. Below, we look at some of the events that led up to the threat of legal action by the CRE and at the steps the Armed Forces and the Ministry of Defence (MoD) are taking in an attempt to transform the Services, including outreach affirmative action, monitoring and training.

BT: championing women in a man's world

As a predominately technological and traditionally male-dominated business, BT has had major difficulties in attracting and retaining skilled women to the organisation. In this article, we look at the range of measures taken by BT to tackle these problems and to develop a workforce that reflects its global customer base.

Equal pay limit threatened

In Levez v T H Jennings (Harlow Pools) Ltd (1 December 1998) EOR83C, the European Court of Justice casts doubt on the lawfulness of the two-year limit on arrears of remuneration in s.2(5) of the Equal Pay Act 1970. [1999] IRLR 36, EAT


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