Employment Cases Update

Walker v Co-Operative Group Ltd and another [2020] EWCA Civ 1075

Date published: 20/08/2020

Appeal against the EAT’s decision allowing the Respondents’ appeal on equal pay, and dismissing the Appellant’s cross-appeal on direct sex discrimination. Appeal dismissed.

The Appellant, a senior employee of the First Respondent, brought various claims in the ET following her dismissal. The ET concluded that the Appellant had been unfairly dismissed, and that the Appellant's work was, from a date to be determined, equal to that of her named comparators. On the Respondents' appeal against the finding on equal pay and the rejection of the material factor defence, and the Appellant's cross-appeal against the rejection of her direct sex discrimination claim, the EAT allowed the Respondents' appeal and dismissed the Appellant's cross-appeal. The Appellant appealed to the Court of Appeal on both equal pay and direct sex discrimination.

The Court of Appeal held that the EAT had been correct to allow the Respondents' appeal in relation to the equal pay claim, and the ET's finding that the material factor defence failed should be set aside. In relation to the direct sex discrimination claim, the Court found that the ET and the EAT were entitled to conclude that the reason for the Appellant's dismissal was the First Respondent's wish to reorganise its HR function.

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