Employment Cases Update

Butt and others v Reading Borough Council UKEAT/0040/19/JOJ

Date published: 31/01/2020

Appeal against the ET’s decision that the Claimants’ claims did not include complaints about equal pay which pre-dated May 2011. Appeal allowed.

The Claimants had brought equal pay claims against the Respondent in 2008, but those claim forms had been filed a day too early, with the result that the ET did not have jurisdiction to determine those claims. In May 2011, the Respondent implemented a new pay and grading structure, and the Claimants brought new claims in October 2011, but the new claim forms were unclear as to the period of claim. In 2018, the Claimants accepted that the original claims had been issued too early and, following an application to dismiss them, those claims were withdrawn. In considering the 2011 claims, the ET concluded that the Claimants' claims did not include complaints about equal pay which pre-dated May 2011. The Claimants appealed on a number of grounds, principally relating to construction of the wording of the claim forms.

The EAT held that the correct interpretation of the claim forms was that they did include a claim in respect of the period before May 2011. Accordingly, the appeal would be allowed, and a cross-appeal by the Respondent – that there had been an abuse of process – would be dismissed.

Read the full text of the judgment on BAILII or download the file by clicking the link below.