Sunderland council may appeal tribunal decision

Sunderland City Council is considering whether to appeal against an employment tribunal decision to award compensation to a section of its female employees that were not permitted the same bonus opportunities as their male counterparts.

The bonus scheme was directed at male-dominated jobs such as street cleaning and refuse collecting, and was deemed discriminatory against female workers at an employment tribunal.

John Rawling, assistant head of corporate personnel at the council, told Personnel Today: “The council is considering appealing against other aspects of the tribunal’s extensive judgment. The remaining parts of the claims are due to be heard in the employment tribunal in summer 2009 and spring 2010.”

At the tribunal the scheme was described as a “sham”, and the group of 150 successful female claimants stand to receive thousands of pounds in compensation.

Cleaners, cooks and care assistants were among the female workers who put claims forward at the employment tribunal against the council.

According to the council, the employment tribunal is also set to consider further legal issues involving the organisation and certain parts of its pay and grading structure during 2009 and 2010. This litigation is expected to finally conclude in 2010.

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