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Equal pay: No non-economic losses in equal pay claims

This report relates to 1 case(s)

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    Council of the City of Newcastle upon Tyne v Allan and others; Degnan and others v Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council [2005] IRLR 504 EAT (0 other reports)

Key points

In Council of the City of Newcastle upon Tyne v Allan and others, Degnan and others v Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council [2005] IRLR 504, the EAT holds:

  • There can be no claim for non-economic loss, that is for injury to feelings or for exemplary or aggravated damages, in claims under the Equal Pay Act 1970 because these are claims in contract rather than statutory torts, as in claims under the Sex Discrimination Act 1975.
  • The SDA specifically excludes claims for money payments by s.6(6) and the EqPA must be construed in a manner consistent with the construction given to s.23 of the Employment Rights Act 1996 by the House of Lords in Dunnachie v Kingston upon Hull City Council.
  • In respect of employees who had changed their jobs more than six months prior to bringing their claims, the tribunal had failed to explain adequately its reasons for finding that their previous contracts had been terminated and they had been issued with new ones (meaning that they could only bring claims in respect of their most recent positions). It was possible that their existing contracts had simply been varied, in which case the limitation period would not yet have started to run, and their claims could span previous positions.