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Pickstone v Freemans plc  [1989] AC 66     House of Lords

 

Miss Pickstone brought a claim against her employer under the Equal Pay Act 1970. She was employed as a warehouse operative and was paid the same as male warehouse operatives. However, Miss Pickstone claimed that the work of the warehouse operatives was of equal value to that done by male warehouse checkers who were paid £1.22 per week more than she was.
 
The House of Lords decided that the literal approach would have left the United Kingdom in breach of its Treaty obligations to give effect to an EU directive. It therefore used the purposive approach and stated that Miss Pickstone was entitled to claim on the basis of work of equal value even though there was a male employee doing the same work as her.
 
Back to lecture outline on the purposive approach to statutory interpretation