Pay ruling leaves employers vulnerable to claims

A landmark equal pay ruling last week should alert all employers to the
dangers of inconsistent pay scales, an employment lawyer has warned.

A panel of independent experts appointed by a Newcastle employment tribunal
ruled a group of women working at Carlisle Hospitals NHS Trust had suffered
discrimination over pay.

The panel came to its conclusion after comparing the wages of the women –
including nurses, catering assistants, clerical officers, sewing machine
assistants, porters and telephonists – to the wages of a group of craftsmen,
joiners, building labourers, wall washers, works officers, craftsman
supervisors and maintenance assistants.

Makbool Javaid, employment partner at law firm DLA, said: "Employers
need to ensure their pay scales are rational and consistent across the

Karen Jennings, national secretary of Unison, which represented the workers,
said: "This confirms there has been historic discrimination against women
workers in the health service."

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