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JUSTIFICATION DEFENCE: Revisiting the ‘cost plus’ rule

04 May 2012  

Katharine McPherson reviews the decision in Woodcock v Cumbria PCT and considers what role cost may play in justifying treatment that would otherwise amount to discrimination

For some time now, case law around the justification of discriminatory treatment has developed on the basis that cost alone is not enough to justify such treatment. There must be some other consideration or factor in addition to cost to rationalise such behaviour. This had come to be widely accepted as the ‘cost plus’ principle.

Additional Info

  • Case(s) Referenced:

    Allonby v Accrington & Rossendale College & ors [2001] IRLR 364

    Bilka-Kaufhaus GmbH v Weber von Hartz [1986] IRLR 317 (ECJ)

    Cordell v Foreign & Commonwealth Office UKEAT/0016/11/SM

    Cross v British Airways plc [2005] IRLR 423

    De Weerd (nee Roks) & Ors v Bestuur van de Bedrijfsvereniging voor de Gezondheid, Geestelijke en Maatschappelijke Belangen & ors [1994] ECR 1-571

    Hill & Stapleton v The Revenue Commissioners & anor [1998] IRLR 466

    Kutz-Bauer v Freie und Hansestadt Hamburg [2003] IRLR 368

    London Borough of Tower Hamlets v Wooster UKEAT/0441/08

    Loxley v BAE Systems Land systems (Munitions & Ordnance) Ltd [2008] IRLR 853

    Pulham & ors v London Borough of Barking & Dagenham [2009] UKEAT/0516/08

    Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council v Bainbridge & ors; Middlesbrough Borough Council v Surtees [2008] IRLR 776

    Woodcock v Cumbria Primary Care Trust [2012] EWCA Civ 330

Last modified on 16 July 2015