Home Office v Bailey and others: CA 22 Mar 2005

Prison officers claimed awards for sex discrimination. The employer replied that the pools of comparators each contained members of either sex. The appellants sought to establish that any less favourable treatment of them in comparison with the comparators was genuinely due to a material factor which is not the difference of sex and which is a material difference. The Home Office did not accept that it was obliged by s. 1 (3) of the 1970 Act objectively to justify any such difference.
Held: Lord Justice Peter Gibson: ‘the ET is concerned to determine whether what on its face is a gender-neutral practice may be disguising the fact that female employees are being disadvantaged as compared with male employees to an extent that signifies that the disparity is prima facie attributable to a difference of sex. ‘ there was ‘no justification for the imposition of a high threshold for satisfying the test of prima facie discrimination. ‘ Lord Justice Waller: ‘where a difference in pay is established, and statistics seem to indicate a possibility of a disproportionate impact on women when looking at both the advantaged and disadvantaged groups as a whole, those statistics must provide sufficient evidence to get those carrying the burden over the hurdle of placing the onus on the employer to show that there were material factors which were not the difference in sex. ‘


Peter Gibson LJ


Times 08-Apr-2005, [2005] EWCA Civ 327




Equal Pay Act 1970


England and Wales


Appeal fromThe Home Office v A Bailey and others EAT 2-Jul-2004
EAT Equal Pay Act – Material factor defence
The EAT allowed an appeal by the Home Office from a decision of an Employment Tribunal which had determined as a preliminary issue that the Home Office was . .
CitedGlasgow City Council and Others v Marshall and Others HL 8-Feb-2000
Although instructors in special schools, carried out work of a broadly similar nature to qualified teachers, and the majority were women, they were not entitled to an equality of pay clause, since there was no evidence of sex discrimination, and the . .
CitedNelson v Carillion Services Ltd CA 15-Apr-2003
The appellant challenged dismissal of her claim for equal pay. It had been rejected on the ground that the employer had shown a material factor justifying the difference in pay.
Held: Enderby establishes that the burden of proving sex . .
CitedEnderby v Frenchay Health Authority and Another ECJ 27-Oct-1993
Discrimination – Shifting Burden of Proof
(Preliminary Ruling) A woman was employed as a speech therapist by the health authority. She complained of sex discrimination saying that at her level of seniority within the NHS, members of her profession which was overwhelmingly a female . .
CitedRegina v Secretary of State For Employment Ex Parte Seymour-Smith and Another (No 2) HL 17-Feb-2000
Although fewer men were affected by the two year qualifying period before becoming entitled not to be dismissed unfairly, the difference was objectively justified by the need to encourage employers to take staff on, and was not directly derived from . .
CitedBarry v Midland Bank Plc HL 22-Jul-1999
The defendant implemented a voluntary retirement scheme under which benefits were calculated according to the period of service of the employee. The plaintiff claimed that the scheme discriminated against workers who had taken career breaks, and . .

Cited by:

See AlsoThe Home Office v A Bailey and others EAT 2-Nov-2005
EAT Practice and Procedure: Permission to Appeal Further and Costs
Test for granting/refusing permission to appeal. Whether power to make partial order for costs. . .
CitedSouth Tyneside Metropolitan Borough Council v Anderson and others EAT 26-Mar-2007
The council appealed a finding that there was no genuine material factor justifying a difference in pay, and in particular the availability of bonus schemes. . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Prisons, Discrimination

Updated: 29 June 2022; Ref: scu.223778