Sheffield City Council will have to compensate women carers who have been paid up to 38% less than their male counterparts for decades, after a court ruling.
The Court of Appeal has ruled that a bonus scheme introduced in the 1960s gave the council’s overwhelmingly male manual workers extra pay to boost their productivity, while no bonuses were paid to carers and others doing traditionally female jobs, the Independent reports.
A number of current and former female staff, including supervisory assistants, senior supervisory assistants, day services assistants, and home support workers, claimed they had been underpaid in the past.
The council was cleared of discrimination by an employment tribunal in 2008.
The tribunal had dismissed the carers’ equal pay claim on the basis that the reason for the disparity between male and female pay levels was that “men’s work can be measured to provide a benchmark for productivity and the women’s work cannot”.
But the Appeal Court found the women had been victims of “indirect” sex discrimination.
Lord Justice Pill, sitting with Lady Justice Smith and Lord Justice Maurice Kay, ruled: “The effect of the productivity bonus… is discriminatory. A sexual taint is present”, according to the Telegraph.