Magazine article Public Finance

Legal Door Open to Challenge Long-Service Payments

Magazine article Public Finance

Legal Door Open to Challenge Long-Service Payments

Article excerpt

The European Court of Justice has 'left the door wide open for employees to challenge public sector bodies that reward long-serving staff with higher salaries, human resources experts are warning.

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development claims the October 3 judgment, which found that employers cannot justify differences in pay between employees purely on the grounds of the length of service, will leave many organisations vulnerable in the courts.

The case was brought by the trade union Prospect on behalf of Health and Safety Executive inspector Bernadette Cadman, after she discovered she was earning £9,000 less than male colleagues on the same grade.

The union has been leading the campaign on the issue, arguing that pay scales based on time served discriminate against younger employees and women who have taken time off to have families.

Dianah Worman, the CIPD's head of diversity, said the ruling means employers must be able to demonstrate that higher-paid workers are contributing more to the organisation than their lower-paid colleagues. …

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