Private Motorists Protection Association v Fifteen Insurance officials

JurisdictionIreland
CourtLabour Court (Ireland)
Judgment Date01 January 1982
Date01 January 1982
(Lab. Ct.)
Private Motorists Protection Association
and
Fifteen Insurance officials

Estoppel - Collective agreement providing for the implementation of unisex salary structure - Whether individual employees estopped from claiming arrears of equal pay - Whether agreement not to pursue equal pay claim void as being contrary to public policy - Whether marriage gratuity part of 'remuneration' - Amount of retrospection payable -Anti-Discrimination (Pay) Act, 1974, (No. 15), ss. 4, 5, 8. Trade-Union - Collective agreement providing for the implementation of a unisex salary structure - Whether agreement binding on all members of the union.

Prior to January, 1978, females recruited by the Private Motorist Protection Association (the company) were placed on the lowest female grade i.e. Grade A, whilst males were recruited on the lowest male grade i.e. Grade C. In September, 1976, the company decided to place a number of females on to the male grade C, however it did not grant the females concerned full equal pay. Negotiations commenced in September, 1976 between the union and the company in relation to a number of matters including equal pay. In June, 1978, the company concluded a comprehensive agreement with the union which, inter alia, provided for the transfer of all permanent female staff on Grade A to the male Grade C with effect from the 1st January, 1978, and also for the proper assimilation of the female staff on to the Grade C. The agreement also provided for the implementation of a new salary structure allowing equal pay for males and females with effect from the 1st April, 1978. The agreement was accepted by the union. However, the female employees as individuals, with the assistance of the union, sought the implementation of equal pay with named male employees for the period from the 31st December, 1975, (i.e. the effective date of the 1974 Anti-Discrimination (Pay) Act) to the 31st December, 1977, (i.e. the date prior to the implementation of equal pay in the company). The case was investigated by the Equality Officer who made the following recommendations: 1. that equal remuneration, on the grounds that they were performing like work with the males named by them, be paid for the years 1976 and 1977 to the fifteen claimants, and that they be assimilated to the male scale on the basis of corresponding points. 2. The retrospective operation of the recommendation automatically extended to over-time pay during the period. 3. That those claimants...

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