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This week saw a judgement from the Supreme Court that has the effect of extending the period on employees can bringing equal pay claims against their employers from six months to six years.The court has allowed this to happen ny permitting claims to be brought through the High Court rather than the Employment Tribunal.
Some analysts are suggesting a flood of claims from both the private and public sectors and the huge cost that that will result.  Of that we have yet to see.  But the opening up of the time period to six years (common in many Health and safety claims faced by employers) does open up the potential for employee who were out of time to now have the potential to make a claim.Irwin Mitchell employment partner Glenn Hayes commenting in The Lawyer takes a cautious approach suggesting that ‘it’s unlikely that many people will have been put off bringing such a claim, or prevented from doing so, by the six-month time limit. However, that’s not to say that there may be some cases which haven’t been advanced which now are able to do so.’
Either way, concerned employers might be wise to audit their pay records and look for potential cases to check for risks.