Page last updated at 17:11 GMT, Wednesday, 15 April 2009 18:11 UK

Women set for equality pay-outs

Dozens of women are in line for compensation after winning their case for equal pay against a council.

Twelve test claimants including cooks, cleaners and care assistants submitted claims to an employment tribunal against Sunderland City Council.

It related to productivity bonuses paid to male employees in male-dominated jobs like gardeners and road sweepers, which were not paid to the women.

The pay-out amount has not been set and the council is considering appealing.

Paul Doran, from Stefan Cross Solicitors which represented the women, said the judgement would affect about 150 women.

He said he believed the compensation could be up to £30,000 for individuals.

Considering appealing

The council said it was considering the detail of the tribunal's 87-page judgement.

It said the tribunal would be considering further issues concerning its pay and grading structure in hearings in 2009 and 2010 and the financial implications would not be known until after that.

The council's assistant head of corporate personnel John Rawling said: "The council has successfully defended a number of equal pay claims from some female employees.

"The council is considering appealing against other aspects of the tribunal's extensive judgement.

"The remaining parts of the claims are due to be heard in the employment tribunal in summer 2009 and spring 2010."

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