Regional director wins equal pay claim

A
former regional director of the Onyx Environmental Group, a waste management
company, has won her equal pay and sex discrimination claim against her former
employer, supported by the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC).

Elizabeth
Pullen worked for Onyx for six years but was made redundant in April 2003, at
the same time as two male regional directors.

The
tribunal agreed that she had been discriminated against because her severance
package was smaller than that of her two male colleagues – she was offered six
months’ salary and they were offered 12 months'(of a higher) salary.

It
also accepted that she should have received the same pay as two regional
directors on the same grade as her, who had earned up to £7,000 more than she
did.

Julie
Mellor, chair of the EOC, said the case outlines the dangers of having a pay
system that is not transparent.

“Unless
they have carried out a proper pay review, no employer can be sure they are
paying all their staff fairly,” she said. “Women working full-time still take
home on average £559 a month less than men – partly due to straightforward
discrimination of this kind.”

Last
week, the Government announced a Women at Work Commission to tackled gender
discrimination in the workplace.

By
Michael Millar

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