Croydon Council faces equal pay claims from female workers

Dozens of women are pursuing compensation claims against a south London council over missed bonuses.

It comes after the Supreme Court rejected a bid by Birmingham City Council to bar such legal claims against it by its own staff.

Wednesday's judgement, on claims dating back six years, could open the door for more women to launch equal pay claims.

Croydon Council, which is now facing similar claims, said it would "judge each case on its merits".

The claims were issued in October 2010, but the 49 women and a man claiming against Croydon council were waiting for the Supreme Court's ruling on the Birmingham cases before they pursued their claims further.

'Treated badly'

Chis Benson, the former employees' solicitor, said: "We have a very good case.

"I'm not aware of any local authorities who have been able to justify this kind of pay differential between men and women," he said.

"We hope to discuss with Croydon Council's lawyers and see if an amicable decision can be reached.

"If not it will be up to the court to decide."

One of the claimants, Ann Farmer, a former carer employed by the council, said the group had been treated "very badly" by the authority.

"Our jobs were upgraded a few years ago from just home help, to carers, when the nurses bailed out from doing the caring side," she said.

"We were re-interviewed for our jobs and subsequently made redundant so they could take on the agency staff and we felt this was all wrong."

Croydon Council declined to respond to these specific comments.

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