Equal rights victory as court gives clarity in battle to show carers’ jobs are equal to male maintenance workers

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06 Jun 2019
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The claims, taken on behalf of GMB by solicitors Light Day, were made by 75  female care workers. 

They contend their work is of equal value to that of the male maintenance operatives, who are paid at higher hourly rates than them. 

The claims, some of which go back up to six years, could see the claimants recover thousands of pounds in back pay they have been denied. 

The claimants, who are members of the GMB union and are represented by law firm Leigh Day, all work or have previously worked for various care homes that are either owned or were once owned by Avery Healthcare, who are one of the biggest providers of residential and nursing care for the elderly and have a total of 58 homes nationwide. [1] 

The judgment, together with detailed job descriptions for each of the lead claimants and the comparators, will now be sent to an independent expert appointed by the court. 

The expert’s report will then assist the court in reaching a final judgment in determining the question of equal value with a final hearing listed in 2020. 

 Susan Harris, GMB Legal Director, said: 

“Today’s ruling is a big victory for equal rights. 

“We are glad that the court has given some clarity regarding the tasks and responsibilities that our members carry out in their daily job roles. 

“Our members carry out an invaluable service looking after vulnerable individuals and the Court’s judgment provides a glimpse into the demands of how challenging and demanding carrying out such work can be. 

“It is only right that they are properly rewarded and not underpaid because of their gender.” 

Michael Newman, a partner at Leigh Day representing the claimants added: 

“Carers provide such a vital role in our society, and given that it is predominantly done by women the potential for discrimination is huge. This judgment is an important step in deciding whether these jobs are of equal value, and we now look forward to the next stage in the case where an independent expert will score the jobs.”  

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