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Newcastle Upon Tyne NHS Hospitals Trust v Armstrong & Ors - Equal pay: genuine material factor defence fails for want of objective justification [2010] EAT

If market rates of pay for a job are affected by the fact that most people doing the type of job in question (eg cleaning) are women, that means that a decision to take market rates into account in deciding pay levels for that job is "tainted by sex".  It will therefore be in breach of the Equal Pay Act 1970 unless objectively justified - which in this case it was not.

A large number of female domestic ancillary workers at a hospital claimed that they should receive the same pay as porters who were principally male and who received bonus payments which the domestic workers did not. The background to the difference was that in 1985 the domestic work was contracted out and the domestic ancillary workers lost their bonus payments whilst the porters remained employed by the hospital and retained their bonus payments.  The period covered by the claims extended six years back from the commencement of proceedings, i.e. to 1994/5.

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