Litigation Recent Decisions 09/07/96

Claim to pension rights by part-time employees

Fletcher v Midland Bank (1996).

EAT (Mummery J, Mrs Sunderland and Mr G Wright) 24/6/96.

Summary: Sex discrimination alleged by part-time workers in an appeal against dismissal of their claim to a right to participate in the employer's occupational pension schemes.

Appeals by Mrs Fletcher and 21 other employees of Midland Bank against the decision by an industrial tribunal in a test case in Birmingham as to sex discrimination contrary to ss.1 and 2 Equal Pay Act 1987 and Art.119 EC Treaty holding that female part-time employees could not participate in occupational pension schemes.

To qualify to participate an employee was required to work a minimum number of hours in each week. Claims were only in time if commenced within six months of the end of the contract of employment containing the equality clause allegedly breached. No claim could be made for a declaration of a right to membership of a pension scheme for a period earlier than two years prior to the institution of the claim.