A group of men who were paid less than female colleagues have won their equal pay claim, in what is thought to be a landmark case.
The 18 men – carpenters, plumbers and caretakers – took the University of Wales, Trinity St David (UWTSD) to an employment tribunal claiming they were being paid less than females on the same pay scale, such as secretaries and office workers.
Their bosses had insisted the difference was not due to gender but was because of changes in the men’s contracts. But in an unexpected U-turn, the UWTSD’s legal team told a hearing in Cardiff that it would no longer contest the case.
Tradesman Robert Cooze, 50, said: “We didn’t want it to come to this really but we’re glad common sense has prevailed. It’s been admitted that we have been discriminated against.”
It is believed to be the first time that such a large group of men have launched legal action in Britain claiming sexual discrimination. Although tribunals brought by men are not unheard of, this case has been described as “very unusual” since the majority of unfair pay claims are brought by women.