Posted on: Aug 11, 2015
After the Employment Court and the Court of Appeal found that the Equal Pay Act is not limited to ensuring simply that men and women performing the same task in the same workplace are paid the same amount, the task of the principles to be observed in implementing equal pay in a broader context fell to the former court. That judgment remains to be issued.
In the Court of Appeal judgment of Terranova Homes & Care Ltd v Service and Food Workers Union Nga Ringa Tota Inc, it had been asked to consider two key findings of the lower court in which it had said that:
- the question of whether there was differentiation in the rate of remuneration required an inquiry as to what men would be paid to do the same work abstracting from skills, responsibility, conditions and degrees of effort as well as from any systemic undervaluation of the work, and
- the inquiry could extend to males in other industries where the same or similar enterprise or industry or sector would be an inappropriate comparator group.
Though the appeal court expressed certain reservations about some of the means by which the Employment Court had arrived at those conclusions, preferring a reliance on the language and purpose of the statutory provisions, it gave endorsement to the two findings.
An attempt to take it to the Supreme Court at this stage has floundered. The Supreme Court considered that it would not be appropriate to consider the matter before the Employment Court had dealt with the substantive matters. We now eagerly await this judgement from the Employment Court.
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