170 former Birmingham City Council workers have won a landmark equal pay case in the high court.
The women workers, who left their jobs between 2004 and 2008, said that men doing the same work were given higher pay and higher benefits, and were demanding compensation.
A panel of five judges ruled 3-2 in against the council, whose lawyers had been arguing that the claims should have been heard in an Employment Tribunal, where the six-month time limit on equal pay claims would have rendered them out of date. The court ruled that the women could pursue their claims in civil courts, where the time limit for compensation claims on equal pay cases is six years.
The workers were mainly catering and care workers, earning as little as £170 a week for working near full-time hours.
A spokesperson for the law firm that represented the women said that the firm has over 1,000 more claims pending in Birmingham alone.