Case round-up

This
week’s case round-up

No
equal pay claim
Lawrence and Others v Regent Office Care Ltd and Others, 2002, All ER
(D) 84, ECJ

This
case limits the extent to which an employee can use a comparator from a
different employer to establish an equal pay claim.

The
employees – female cleaning and catering staff – were originally employed by
North Yorkshire County Council. Some had previously established that their work
was equal in value to that of men employed by the council in other service
areas.

After
a compulsory tendering process, the cleaning and catering services were
contracted out to private companies, which paid the employees at lower rates
than the council.

A
number of female employees brought proceedings against their new employers,
claiming that Article 141 EC entitled them to claim equal pay with male
comparators who remained employed by the council.

 The Court of Appeal referred the case to the
European Court of Justice, which held that where the differences in pay of
workers of different sex, performing equalwork or work of equal value cannot be
attributed to a single source, this does not fall within the scope of Article
141, because no singlebody is responsible for theinequality and can restore
equal treatment.

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