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Coventry City Council v (1) Nicholls & Others (Unison) (2) Nicholls & Others (Unite) - Equal pay act and pay protection [2009] EAT

This is an Equal Pay Act case.  The main interest is in the part dealing with pay protection. "Pay protection" is sometimes offered by local councils to staff who suffer a cut in pay after a job evaluation assessment conducted as part of "single status arrangements" (ie the arrangements negotiated in 1997 between local authorities and trade unions  for a unified pay and conditions structure for local government staff).

Some (usually female) staff are likely to find they are entitled to an increase in pay after a job evaluation assessment has been completed to bring it up to that of their (usually male) comparators.  Others may suffer a drop in pay. Pay increase to the (usually female) staff whose pay has been too low can be retrospective for up to 6 years.  In some cases the figures work out so that if these employees had been paid throughout the 6 years the amount they should have had, they would have been entitled to a cash benefit under the pay protection scheme.  Staff have sometimes made what might be called "retrospective pay protection claims" accordingly.

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