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(1) UNISON (2) GMB v (1) MRS M BRENNAN & ORS (2) SUNDERLAND CITY COUNCIL

Employment tribunals had jurisdiction to grant declarations under the Sex Discrimination Act 1975 s 77 to have terms of a collective agreement declared void, even to claimants who otherwise could test those terms in the context of personal equal pay or sex discrimination claims.

1 April 2008

The appellant trade unions (U) appealed against a decision of an employment judge that claims brought by the respondent employees (B) that certain terms of a collective agreement were void under the Sex Discrimination Act 1975 s 77 should be heard at the same time as their equal pay claims made under the Equal Pay Act 1970. U argued that the employment tribunal had no power to hear the s 77 claim at all since it did not have the power to issue declarations in favour of claimants such as B for acts which might contravene s 77.

HELD: Employment tribunals had jurisdiction to grant declarations under s 77 of the 1975 Act to have terms of a collective agreement declared void, even to claimants who otherwise could test those terms in the context of personal equal pay or sex discrimination claims. The United Kingdom was under an obligation to give effect to the Directives on equal pay and equal treatment. There were two fundamental principles of EU law which regulated how that had to...

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