Barber v Guardian Royal Exchange Assurance Group

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Barber v Guardian Royal Exchange Assurance Group
CourtEuropean Court of Justice
Decided17 May 1990
Citation(s)(1990) C-262/88, [1990] IRLR 240
Pensions, sex discrimination

Barber v Guardian Royal Exchange Assurance Group (1990) C-262/88 is an EU labour law and UK labour law case concerning sex discrimination in pensions.


UK law allowed employers to set different occupational pension entitlement ages. Barber claimed against his employer, Guardian Royal Exchange Assurance, that he should be able to get an occupational pension at the same time as his woman co-workers. The Court of Appeal made a reference to the European Court of Justice whether this violated community law on equal treatment of the sexes.


The European Court of Justice held that TFEU article 157 (now TEC article 119) precluded men and women having different age conditions for pension entitlements. Occupational pension schemes are included as pay, even though the scheme operated by a trust technically independent of the employers. It operated in partial substitution for benefits under the state social security system, even if it is with reference to a national scheme.

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