Bainbridge and others v Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council: EAT 23 Mar 2007

EAT Practice and Procedure – Compromise
Equal Pay Act – Work rated equivalent; Damages/Compensation
This case raises three issues, two of which are of particular significance in the field of equal pay.
Do employees whose jobs are rated as equivalent under a job evaluation scheme have the right to seek compensation going back up to six years (assuming their jobs and those of their chosen comparators have not changed in any material way in that period)?
>Employment Tribunal held that they did not and the EAT agreed.
Is an employee only allowed to pursue to judgment an equal pay claim in relation to one comparator with respect to the same period of time? Would the employee thereafter be precluded from seeking to establish an infringement of the equality laws by comparing herself with another comparator on the basis that the matter was res judicata? Alternatively, on the grounds that she had to make an election as to which remedy she wanted and has made that election?
Employment Tribunal held that she was not prevented from making such claims, and the EAT, by a majority, agreed. The EAT recognised that there is potential for abuse by naming multiple comparators, but that will have to be dealt with by a robust application of the Tribunal Rules.
Was the Tribunal right to hold that there was no breach by the employer in failing to carry out the grievance procedures because of reg 10 of the Employment Act 2002 (Dispute Resolution) Regulations [2004]? Was the Tribunal justified in indicating that had there been a breach then it would have increased compensation by 5% pursuant to ss.31(3) and 31(4) of the Employment Act 2002?
The EAT held that the Tribunal had misconstrued regulation 10; that there was a technical breach of the regulations by the employer in failing to hold meetings to consider grievances; but that this was plainly an exceptional case falling within the terms of s.31(4), where it would not be just or equitable to grant an uplift of compensation.


Elias J P


[2007] UKEAT 0424 – 06 – 2303, [2007] IRLR 494




Equal Pay Act 1970


England and Wales


See AlsoRedcar and Cleveland Borough Council v Bainbridge and others EAT 16-Oct-2006
EAT Equal pay in the North East. Women whose jobs had been rated as equivalent with comparator men (and in some cases had been rated higher) were paid less because of the effect of bonuses and other extra . .
See AlsoRedcar and Cleveland Borough Council v Bainbridge and others EAT 15-Nov-2006
. .
See AlsoBainbridge and others, Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council v Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council, Williams and others EAT 31-Jan-2007
EAT Practice and Procedure – Compromise. . .
At ECJPreston and Others v Wolverhampton Healthcare NHS Trust and Others; Fletcher and Others v Midland Bank plc ECJ 16-May-2000
ECJ Social policy – Men and women – Equal pay – Membership of an occupational pension scheme – Part-time workers – Exclusion – National procedural rules – Principle of effectiveness – Principle of equivalence. . .
At HLPreston and Others v Wolverhampton Healthcare NHS Trust and Others, Fletcher and Others v Midland Bank Plc (No 2) HL 8-Feb-2001
Part-time workers claimed that they had been unlawfully excluded from occupational pension schemes because membership was dependent on an employee working a minimum number of hours per week and that that was discriminatory because a considerably . .
See AlsoPreston and others v Wolverhampton Healthcare NHS Trust and others EAT 3-Nov-2003
EAT Judge McMullen QC adopted a limited view of the scope of the new principle of stable employment set out at the ECJ and HL. He thought it was intended ‘to rescue employees who do not have a permanent job’; and . .

Cited by:

See AlsoRedcar and Cleveland Borough Council v Bainbridge and others CA 21-Sep-2007
The council appealed against a finding of discrimination under the 1970 Act, saying it was impermissible to use as a comparator somebody found after a job evaluation study to be of a different, but lower grade, but with higher pay.
Held: The . .
See AlsoRedcar and Cleveland Borough Council v Bainbridge and others (‘Bainbridge 1’) CA 29-Jul-2008
Pay protection provisions are commonly adopted, and provided any differential in pay does not continue for too long, they may justify what would otherwise be unlawful indirect discrimination. . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 28 January 2022; Ref: scu.250490