The House of Lords has found that the actions of an employer which sent letters to both employees who had brought equal pay claims and to those who had not, warning them that a large number of staff would be made redundant should the claims succeed, amounted to victimisation of those who had brought claims under the Sex Discrimination Act 1975.

Although the employer was protecting its legitimate business interests, it had acted unreasonably by placing too much pressure on the employees to settle their claims.

Employers must be careful that they do not use guilt and fear to intimidate employees into settlement, irrespective of how grave the potential consequences are if they should succeed in any claim. St Helens Borough Council v Derbyshire and others