The Court of Appeal has held in the case of Council of the City of Sunderland v Brennan & Others that bonuses paid to groups of predominantly male employees which were initially brought in to increase productivity could no longer be justified because they were no longer linked with productivity.

What does this mean?

Bonus schemes may be non-discriminatory when first instituted, but as circumstances change over time they can lose that status and so breach equal pay legislation.

What should employers do?

Employers should review any historic bonus schemes they may operate and ensure that they can still justify any difference in pay. Legal advice should be sought in any cases of doubt.