Source: All England Reporter
Publisher Citation: [2006] All ER (D) 17 (Oct)
Court: Court of Justice of the European Communities (Grand Chamber)

Judges Skouris (President), Jann, Timmermans, Rosas (Presidents of Chambers), Schintgen, Colneric (Rapporteur), von Bahr, Cunha Rodrigues, Klucka, Lohmus, Levits, O Caoimh and Bay Larsen

Judgment Dates: 3 October 2006


European community - Equality of treatment of men and women - Equal pay for equal work - Length of service as a determinant of pay - Whether employer required to provide special justification for recourse to length of service as a determinant of pay - EC Treaty, art 141.

The Case

Article 141 of the EC Treaty should be interpreted as meaning that, where recourse to the criterion of length of service as a determinant of pay led to disparities in pay, in respect of equal work or work of equal value, between the men and women to be included in the comparison: (i) since, as a general rule, recourse to the criterion of length of service was appropriate to attain the legitimate objective of rewarding experience acquired which enabled the worker to perform his duties better, the employer did not have to establish specifically that recourse to that criterion was appropriate to attain that objective as regards a particular job, unless the worker provided evidence capable of raising serious doubts in that regard; and (ii) where a job classification system based on an evaluation of the work to be carried out was used in determining pay, there was no need to show that an individual worker had acquired experience during the relevant period which had enabled him to perform his duties better.

Practice Areas

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