Case round up

This week’s case round-up

Some more equal than others
Board of governors of Blessed Edward Jones High School v Rawlinson,
EAT/0776/02/DM 6 March 2003

In her equal pay claim, an admin officer employed by a school’s Board of
governors was not able to use bursars engaged by the local education authority
as comparators.

Rawlinson was engaged as an administrative officer by the board of
governors. Having participated in a job evaluation scheme run by Denbighshire
County Council, her post was classified as that of an SO 2 bursar. Relying on
that evaluation, she requested the governors pay her an equivalent salary. They
refused.

She brought an equal pay claim and, relying on the decision in South
Ayrshire Council v Morton, 2001, IRLR 28, the tribunal found in Rawlinson’s
favour on the basis that there was a sufficient "connection in a loose and
non-technological sense between [her] employment and a comparator from another
employer." The board of governors appealed.

The appeal was allowed. The European Court of Justice decision in Lawrence v
Regent Office Care Limited, 2002, IRLR 822 had clarified that an employee
relying on a comparator employed by a different employer must show a single
body is responsible for the difference in pay, otherwise no-one is in a
position to remedy thE inequality. Rawlinson’s salary was fixed by the
Governors, while the bursars’ salary was not.

Retrain to assist redeployment
David v ITNET, EAT/0514/02/RN, 21 March 2003

Davis was made redundant from his job as an analyst programmer. His unfair
dismissal claim was upheld, but he was not awarded compensation. The tribunal
was satisfied his dismissal was genuinely by reason of redundancy, and although
the company’s procedure had been unfair, the tribunal found this had made
little difference to the outcome.

Davis had made no applications for other posts within the company and by
electing for immediate redundancy, he had put a stop to any further question of
redeployment. The tribunal considered the possibility of re-engagement, but the
only suitable vacancy was at a substantially higher salary. Davis appealed
against the decision not to award compensation or to order re-engagement.

The EAT concluded that any reasonable tribunal should have had regard to the
possibility that a reasonably proactive employer, engaging in a full-hearted
consultation process, would or may have been able to arrange some retraining in
order to put him in a better position for redeployment.

All the company had done was provide him with lists of vacancies. The EAT
took into account the decline in demand for programmers experienced in the
particular system which Davis operated. The case was remitted back to the
tribunal to consider the possibility of re-engagement and whether some
compensation would be just and equitable.

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