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Equal Pay

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[Thanks to Ed McFarlane of Deminos HR for preparing this case summary]

Does the dissolution of an NHS Trust end employment for the purposes of an Equal Pay claim time limit? 

Yes, says the EAT in Foley v NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde.

The Equal Pay claims of sample Claimants in respect of employment before a reorganisation of NHS Trusts were struck out by the employment tribunal as out of time, as the claims were brought outside the 6-month time limit from the end of 'employment' on the Trusts' dissolution.

The EAT upheld the tribunal's decision that the time limit ran from the Trusts' dissolution; there were two separate 'employments' and, whilst the transfer of NHS staff and associated rights and liabilities to new NHS employers by Staff Transfer Orders under the National Health Service (Scotland) Act 1978 provisions that closely reflected TUPE would have made the Claimants' new employers liable to meet any claims brought in time, there was a separate obligation on the new employers to comply with the Equal Pay Act.

The EAT also rejected an argument for the Claimants that the time limit acted in an unfair way, in circumstances where TUPE consultation provisions did not apply, so as to breach the principle of effectiveness under EU law, and refused to make a reference to the ECJ.