Birmingham City Council loses equal pay tribunal

An employment tribunal has ruled against Birmingham City Council in an equal pay case.

Around 50 female workers in a variety of roles at the council, including lollipop ladies and cleaners, complained that until 2007 they were excluded from bonuses – worth up to 160% of their basic salary – despite being on the same pay grade as their male colleagues.

Councillor Alan Rudge, cabinet member for equalities and human resources, said the council was considering an appeal. “The issue that was considered by the employment tribunal relates to the old pay and grading structure, in particular the outdated bonus systems,” he said.

“In 2007, we took positive action to remove the inappropriate bonus schemes and implemented a revised pay and grading structure, which falls within the Equal Opportunities Commission’s equality guidelines and was endorsed through an independent external audit.”

But he added it was too early to say what the financial implications of the tribunal’s decision would be.

Dave Prentis, general secretary of union Unison, said: “For too long, Birmingham City Council has failed to live up to its responsibilities to pay these women workers fairly. This has cost council taxpayers huge amounts of money in legal fees.”

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