Birmingham City Council facing £600 million payout in equal pay claims

Up to 5,000 women today learned that they have won their claims for equal pay against the Council based on bonus payments which allowed male employees to earn in excess of £50,000 per year.

The women, many of whom were represented by Stefan Cross Solicitors Limited, had submitted claims against their employer in respect of their jobs which included Cleaners, Cooks and Care Assistants and the Employment Tribunal has today announced that the bonus payments made to the men were discriminatory.

Large numbers of men employed as Refuse Collectors, Street Cleaners and Road-Workers had for many years received up to 159% of their basic pay. In 2007, one Refuse Collector alone took home almost £51,000 whereas women on the same grade received less than £12,000.

The Tribunal, having noted that the management of the Council believed  Refuse Collection staff deserved special treatment, decided that the payments could not be justified since they had been paid to the men simply for turning up to work and doing their jobs properly. The Tribunal also found that the most senior levels of management were aware, as early as 2000, that there was a problem however chose to do nothing, instead continually pushing the problem to one side like a "disagreeable sprout" on a Christmas dinner plate.

Paul Doran, of Stefan Cross Solicitors Limited, who acted for over 1,200 of the women, said "this is a massive victory for these women who have fought long and hard to have the simple principle of equal pay for work of equal value acknowledged. The fact that Birmingham City Council simply failed to acknowledge that it had a problem should act as a warning to other Local Authorities who continue to deny their female employees their basic rights."

Mr. Doran added that a Grade 4 Care Assistant working 20 hours a week could expect to receive in excess of £100,000.

If further information is required, please contact:

Paul Doran or Stefan Cross
Stefan Cross Solicitors Limited
Buddle House
Buddle Road
Newcastle upon Tyne
0191 – 2263274

Or Stefan on 07734101011

Or alternatively

Paul Savage
Equality Campaigner, Birmingham area

Contact Name:
Kieran O'Connor
Chief Executive
Stefan Cross
Contact Email:
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Contact Phone:
0191 226 3276
Contact Fax:
0191 226 6680