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M Dolphin v Hartlepool Borough Council: South Tyneside Metropolitan Borough Council v Middleton

An employment tribunal had been entitled to hold that the female employees who had relied on the EC Treaty (Nice) Art 141 in respect of their equal pay claims could not rely upon their chosen male comparators, since the employees and their chosen comparators were not employed in the same service. The female employees who had brought their equal pay claims under the Equal Pay Act 1970 could rely on their chosen comparators, since they were employed on common terms and conditions for the purpose of s 1(6) of the Act.

6 October 2006

An issue arose in conjoined appeals as to whether female employees could rely upon their chosen male comparators for the purpose of bringing equal pay claims. In the first case, the female employees (D) were employed by the governing body of voluntary aided schools as support staff. They brought equal pay claims comparing themselves with male manual workers who did not work in schools but were employed by the local authority. D relied on EC Treaty (Nice) Art 141, but the employment tribunal held that D could not rely on their chosen comparators as they were not employed in the same service as their comparators. In the second case, the female employees (M) worked as caretakers in community schools and sought to compare themselves with painters or drivers who were employed by the same local authority. M brought claims under the Equal Pay Act 1970 s 1(2)(b) on the basis that they were employed on the same terms and conditions as their comparators. The tribunal held that M could rely on...

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