Court of Appeal dismisses appeal in McNeil & Others v HMRC


The Court of Appeal has dismissed the Claimants’ appeal in McNeil & Others v HMRC. This is an equal pay claim in which the Claimants allege indirect sex discrimination based on the effect of length of service on pay. They allege that the Respondent’s pay system places women at a particular disadvantage in relation to pay but they base their claim on statistics which are said to show that women are clustered at the bottom of their pay scales and men are clustered at the top, rather than on differences in average pay for men and women.

The Court of Appeal held that disadvantage in relation to pay distribution is not, of itself, sufficient to establish prima facie indirect pay discrimination: there must also be a material difference in actual or average pay. The Employment Tribunal had therefore been right to hold that the claims failed.

Thomas Linden QC appeared for HMRC with Robert Moretto of Old Square Chambers.

Read the full judgment here.