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St Helen’s v Derbyshire

[2007] UKHL 16

Case summary last updated at 19/02/2020 20:01 by the Oxbridge Notes in-house law team.

Judgement for the case St Helen’s v Derbyshire

In the initial case, over 500 women employed in school catering services had brought an equal pay claim against their employer, the St. Helens Borough Council. The vast majority of the original complainants entered into a settlement agreement with the Council, while approximately 40 individuals did not accept the settlement, electing to continue the case. Before the hearing, the employer sent a letter to all the original complainants, both those who had settled and those who had not, warning of potential consequences should the remaining claimants succeed in their claim, including the suggestion that job cuts might be required due to increased employer costs. The employer then sent a second letter to the remaining claimants, urging a settlement. The letters caused distress to the remaining claimants, and had an intimidating effect. HL found the letters had the effect of subjecting the claimants to adverse treatment because they chose to continue with their equal pay claims, and as such, amounted to victimization under SDA. 

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