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Are litigation and collective bargaining complements or substitutes for achieving gender equality? A study of the British equal pay act


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Authors

Butlin, SF 
McLaughlin, C 
Polanska, A 

Abstract

We present a socio-legal case study of the recent equal pay litigation wave in Britain, which saw an unprecedented increase in the number of claims, triggered in part by the entry of no-win, no-fee law firms into this part of the legal services market. Although the rise in litigation led to greater adversarialism in pay bargaining, litigation and collective bargaining mostly operated as complementary mechanisms in advancing an equality agenda. Litigation may be a more potent agent for social change than some recent analyses, which stress the limits of the law in the face of organisational pressures to canalise and diffuse human rights, have suggested

Description

Keywords

Equal pay, Litigation strategies, Social rights, Collective bargaining

Journal Title

Cambridge Journal of Economics

Conference Name

Journal ISSN

0309-166X
1464-3545

Volume Title

39

Publisher

Oxford University Press (OUP)
Sponsorship
We are grateful to the ESRC’s Gender Network for financial support