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Chambers & Partners
12/11/2007

Joss and others v. Cumbria County Council

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Employment Appeal Tribunal

Tess Gill and Betsan Criddle, instructed by Thompsons, represented the GMB backed claimants. The Employment Appeal Tribunal largely upheld the Employment Tribunal’s judgment, which found in the claimants' favour.
 
The EAT accepted that the local authority had not justified the payment of bonus to an exclusively male comparator group when the predominantly female claimant group were denied access to the bonus scheme. Importantly, the EAT accepted that, where an employer fails to show that a productivity based bonus scheme is objectively justified for the male workforce, the fact that the productivity requirements of the scheme could not be applied to the female workforce is irrelevant. As the men were not being required to work more productively to be paid bonus, the issue of whether that requirement could be applied to the women did not arise. The issue of the amenability of claimants’ work to payment of a bonus only arises if a tribunal is satisfied that the scheme applied to the comparators genuinely rewards productivity and is properly applied.
 
Two other issues have been remitted to the Employment Tribunal for further consideration. A hearing on an appeal against the tribunal's remedy judgment is also awaited.

UKEAT/0148/06, UKEAT/0463/06, UKEAT/0464/06, UKEAT/0465/06, UKEAT/0256/07
EMPLOYMENT, CONTRACTS, LOCAL GOVERNMENT, CONTRACTS OF EMPLOYMENT, EQUAL PAY, LIMITATIONS, TERMINATION.

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