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S Villalba v Merrill Lynch & Co

In an equal pay claim, the elimination of discrimination on grounds of sex could not require objective justification for differences in pay in circumstances where an employer had successfully rebutted a presumption of direct sex discrimination and there was no independent evidence of any kind to show that sex had any influence on the difference in pay. Such a requirement was not established by the case of Brunnhofer v Bank der Osterreichischen Postparkasse AG (C-381/99) [2001] IRLR 571.

9 June 2006

The appellant (V) appealed against a decision dismissing her claims for sex discrimination and unequal pay, but upholding certain complaints of discrimination on grounds of victimisation and finding V’s dismissal to be unfair. V had been employed by the respondent company (M) for several years and had held various challenging and responsible posts. When promoted to a different role she experienced difficulties with the role and with her immediate superior. V contended that: (1) the tribunal had applied the wrong test when determining whether victimisation had been a cause of her removal from her position and her subsequent dismissal, and had failed to identify further acts of discrimination that would have had a bearing on the causation issue. V further argued that the tribunal’s findings were inconsistent and irrational; (2) the tribunal had been entitled to find, on the facts, that there was no sex discrimination. However, Brunnhofer v Bank der Osterreichischen Postsparkasse A...

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