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Victimisation: House of Lords

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Getting back to Chambers this afternoon, I found 37 Emails waiting for me about this case. 37!!! I'd like to thank everyone individually, but come on...

Anyway, the House of Lords has overturned the Court of Appeal in St Helens Borough Council v Derbyshire (see bulletin 30/7/05), holding that forceful and initmidating letters sent by an employer to a group of employees claiming Equal Pay can amount to victimisation.

The House of Lords held that the employer, who had written deeply unpleasant letters to 39 equal pay Claimants - pointing out that they might be responsible for the loss of their colleagues' jobs if they won their equal pay claims - had subjected those Claimants to a detriment on the grounds they had brought a tribunal claim.

Whilst acknowledging that the employer was entitled to take legitimate steps to try to settle claims, the House of Lords stated that the employment tribunal was entitled to find that Derbyshire Borough Council had crossed the line, and actively subjected the Claimants to a detriment.