The Court of Session has quashed the decision of the Employment Appeal Tribunal which held that Glasgow City Council’s salary grading scheme was valid in terms of equal pay legislation and ruled that the scheme may have provided less favourable treatment for female workers.
Thousands of council workers argued that the process was “fundamentally flawed” as female workers in home working roles were earning significantly less than those employed in male dominated roles such as gravedigging, gardening or refuse collection.
The Court ruled that the council failed to show that the salary grading scheme was “thorough in its analysis, objective, transparent, accurate, internally sound and consistent, sufficiently detailed and fair.” In addition, the scheme did not follow the advice of the Equal Opportunities Commission and did not comply with the Equality Act 2010.
The court also confirmed that the burden of proof rests with the employer to demonstrate that it has complied with the law and in this case, the council had failed to produce sufficient expert evidence to do so.
Susan Aitken, leader of Glasgow City Council, has stated that, “council officers will require time to consider all the implications of this ruling”, however confirms that she has “instructed them to continue to speak to the trade unions about the application of the pay and grading scheme” and is committed to improving industrial relations within the council which includes “resolving inherited outstanding equal pay cases.”
The Employment Tribunal will now reconsider this matter.
If you are an employer or a worker and believe you are affected by this decision, please contact us online by clicking here or speak to a member of our specialist team on 0333 222 1855.