Council Employees Win Landmark Equal Rights Case

The new Supreme Court has just backed a group of female former employees in what lawyers are calling a “landmark” decision. The women concerned were formerly employed by Birmingham City council. They claimed they had been discriminated against in the past because they didn’t receive bonuses which had been given to staff in traditionally male-dominated jobs. The decision is unusual, says Shaun Underhill a partner in Winchester based solicitors Shentons: “The women brought an action against the Council in the civil courts several years after leaving their employment. The council argued that the women’s claims should be struck out because they should have submitted their claims through the Employment Tribunal system, where there is a time limit that says they needed to have brought their case within six months of leaving their jobs.”

The Supreme Court decided the women were not restricted to only pursuing their case through the Employment Tribunal system with its six month time limit, but can also pursue their case in the civil courts, where there is a six year time limit on making a claim. Shaun Underhill comments: “The implications are tremendous, as there are potentially thousands of former employees who could now bring civil actions which they previously thought were time barred as they would only have used the Employment Tribunal system.” If you feel you may need advice, Shentons Solicitors and Mediators can advise you, call Shaun Underhill on 01962 844544 for further information.