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Sex discrimination: Victimisation by sending letters warning of effect of claims

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    St Helens Metropolitan Borough Council v Derbyshire and others [2004] IRLR 851 EAT (0 other reports)

Key points

In St Helens Metropolitan Borough Council v Derbyshire and others, the EAT holds:

  • The tribunal did not err in law in finding that the council had victimised catering staff who had presented equal pay claims, by (a) sending letters to all the catering staff generally and to the claimants personally at work, when the claimants had solicitors acting on record; and (b) attempting to persuade the claimants to settle their claims by drawing attention to the risk that children might be deprived of school meals and that colleagues might lose their jobs if the claims were successful, in circumstances where the claimants would inevitably be vilified by their colleagues.
  • Individual direct threats of disciplinary or other sanctions to the claimants were not necessary to establish less favourable treatment as required by the victimisation provisions in s.4 of the Sex Discrimination Act 1975.