Sheffield City Council faces potentially thousands of equal pay claims as female cleaners, carers, and teaching assistants state they are down up to £11,000 per year compared to their male counterparts.

The claims state that job titles are grouped together into ‘job families’, which are then given a rate of pay. As an example, the claim argues that care managers and cemetery supervisors perform similar roles but are assessed at grade 5 and grade 7, respectively. The difference represents around £7,301 per year between the two roles. As the former contains far more female staff the argument goes that the way in which these two are assessed is discriminatory and the pay should be matched between the two.

This news comes shortly after Birmingham admitted equal pay liabilities up to £760 million, causing effective bankruptcy.

We will have to see the extent of the liability as the story unfolds, but it is worth mentioning that ensuring equal pay between members of staff in similar roles who are performing similarly would prevent these types of claims occurring. This may prove to be an example of how similar work and work of equal value will be considered, not just the job title.