Birmingham City Council v Abdulla and others  UKSC 47
On 24th October 2012 judgment was given in the above case in the Supreme Court. The Council were appealing a decision from the Court of Appeal which had found that 171 female claimants were successful in a claim for equal pay.
The facts of this case were that the claimants argued they were employed on work rated as equivalent with that of a man in the same employment. The claimants were not able to benefit from bonuses and other payments which their male counterparts were entitled to. This meant, on average, a male employer was earning £19,000 pa more than a female.
The Council were trying to argue that the claimants should have brought their claims in the Employment Tribunal where a 6 month time limit applied to bring equal pay claims. Instead, the claimants had lodged their claims in the High Court where a 6 year time limit applied.
The Supreme Court did not agree with the Council and therefore did not strike out the claims.
Employers should take note of this decision as it means claimants with potential equal pay claims have longer in which to bring their claims. For larger employers, like local authorities, this may bring to life potential claims that may otherwise have been overlooked.