In North and others v Dumfries and Galloway Council  IRLR 737 SC, the Supreme Court held that, where a claimant and her comparator are employed at different establishments, the correct hypothetical question is whether or not, in the event (however unlikely) of the comparator being transferred to do his present job at the claimant's workplace, he would continue to enjoy the same or broadly similar terms and conditions as he did before.
Assumptions that an individual accused of sexual harassment must be guilty can be costly, as this council found out after a tribunal awarded the claimant £169,000 for sex discrimination and constructive dismissal.
The Supreme Court has held that the fact that the work of the claimants' chosen comparators has to be carried on in a different place of work out of necessity is no barrier to bringing an equal pay claim.
In London Borough of Hackney v Sivanandan and others  IRLR 408 CA, the Court of Appeal held that an employer vicariously liable for an employee's discriminatory act had joint and several liability for the whole sum awarded in compensation.
In Davies v Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council  EWCA Civ 135 CA, the Court of Appeal held that it was not outside the range of reasonable responses for an employer to rely on a live final warning in conjunction with later misconduct in deciding to dismiss. The warning had been issued in good faith and was not manifestly inappropriate, and there had been prima facie evidence to sustain it.
In Abdulla and others v Birmingham City Council  IRLR 38 SC, the Supreme Court held that the civil courts may not strike out an equal pay claim as being more conveniently disposed of by the employment tribunal when the claim cannot be pursued there because it is out of time.
This tribunal decision provides a stark reminder to employers of the information on agency workers that they have been required to produce during redundancy and TUPE consultations since amendments to legislation made on 1 October 2011.
The Court of Session has held that a group of administrative and clerical female workers making equal pay claims against a local authority were on "common terms and conditions" with a group of male manual workers who were based in different locations.
In this decision, the employment tribunal was critical of a local authority that failed to keep an employee at risk of redundancy in employment for six more months during a transitional period. The decision had been taken to avoid a pension payout and constituted direct age discrimination and unfair dismissal.
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