Q&As

Is it race discrimination to pay overseas employees seconded to work in the UK substantially more than their British counterparts, doing the same job?

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Published on LexisPSL on 13/09/2017

The following Employment Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Is it race discrimination to pay overseas employees seconded to work in the UK substantially more than their British counterparts, doing the same job?

This situation was considered in the case of Wakeman, in which British employees brought claims of direct race discrimination on the basis that they were being paid substantially less for doing the same job than Japanese employees seconded to work in London, who continued to be employed on a Japanese pay structure.

The employment tribunal, among other things, dismissed the claimants’ claims for direct race discrimination in relation to the pay package, and the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) rejected their appeals.

Dismissing the claimants’ appeal, the Court of Appeal held:

  1. the employment tribunal had not erred in finding that the respondents did not discriminate on racial grounds against the claimants. The tribunal was entitled to find that the higher level of pay was attributable to the seconded managers' status as secondees, and not their Japanese race or nationality

  2. it was not necessary to disaggregate the pay package and examine its component parts; it was a questi

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