Dr Pamela Enderby was the first of hundreds of speech therapists to lodge a claim under the 1984 ‘equal pay for work of equal value’ regulations.

In 1986 Dr Pamela Enderby, a speech therapist, brought proceedings against her employer (Frenchay Health Authority) under the Sex Discrimination Act. She claimed that her job, within a female profession, was unfairly paid in comparison to a (male) clinical psychologist and pharmacist. The case was dismissed by both an industrial tribunal and an employment appeal tribunal before being referred to the European Court of Justice (Curia) on the interepretaion of various legal points. In 1993 the ECJ concluded that, among other things, if the disadvantaged group is predominantly female whereas the advantaged group is predominantly male, then there is a prima facie case of discrimination. In 1997 the case was reported as achieving a notable victory after 11 years in and out of the courts.

The case can be seen as paradigm of the limitations of the Equal Pay Act.