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Equal pay: Equal pay compensation can be backdated for six years

This report relates to 1 case(s)

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    Levez v TH Jennings (Harlow Pools) Ltd (No.2) [1999] IRLR 764 EAT (2 other reports)

    • EAT sets aside back pay limit

      Date:
      1 December 1999

      In Levez v TH Jennings (Harlow Pools) Ltd (No.2); Hicking v Basford Group Ltd (in receivership) the EAT has ruled that the two-year limit on back pay in s. 2(5) of the Equal Pay Act contravenes Article 119 (now Article 141) of the EC Treaty and is thus unenforceable.

    • Equal Pay Act limit set aside

      Date:
      1 November 1999

      In Levez v TH Jennings (Harlow Pools) Ltd (No.2) and Hicking v Basford Group Ltd (in receivership) EOR88C, the EAT holds that the two-year limit on back pay in s.2(5) of the Equal Pay Act 1970 contravenes Article 119 of the EC Treaty and must be set aside. Successful equal pay complainants can claim back pay for up to six years from the date proceedings were commenced.

The two-year limitation on backdated compensation contained in s.2(5) of the Equal Pay Act is a restriction on an applicant's right to have a full and effective remedy for breach of the European Community equal pay principle, holds the EAT in Levez v TH Jennings (Harlow Pools) Ltd (No.2) and Hicking v Basford Group Ltd (in receivership) 1.10.99 EAT 812/94 and 311/99. That limitation is less favourable than comparable domestic claims for breach of contract, unlawful deductions from wages and race or disability discrimination, for which compensation can be sought for a period going back six years. It is, therefore, a breach of the general EC law principle of equivalence, and, as such, is unenforceable.