More than 170 women who worked for Birmingham City Council won their equal pay compensation fight at the UK's highest court yesterday
The ruling allows anyone to make a claim within six years, where previously they had been time-barred after six months.
In Scotland, due to different breach of contract legislation, anyone will now be able to make an equal pay claim back to 2007.
It comes as an equal pay case involving 5500 current and former employees of Glasgow City Council gets under way. The tribunal is expected to run until December.
The claims follow the council's settlement of thousands of cases in 2007 and come at a time of a squeeze on council budgets.
Further cases involving North and South Lanarkshire are also imminent, while there has been settlement of hundreds of cases outside of a tribunal in Edinburgh. Fife is also on the cusp of an out-of-court settlement.
The Birmingham workers, mainly women who worked in roles traditionally held by females, such as cooks, cleaners and care staff, won a ruling over lower pay last November.
The Supreme Court rejected the council's argument the claims should have been made within six months of staff leaving their jobs. They now have six years to make claims.
Lawyers for the group called the result a landmark judgment and said it could have huge implications for potentially thousands of other workers.
They said the 174 in the group, named the Abdulla Group after the woman whose name was at the top of the list, could be entitled to about £2 million between them. The lawyers said up to another 1000 former Birmingham city council employees could also submit claims.
Carol Fox, who is leading the claims for the Glasgow staff, said the ramifications of the Birmingham verdict would be felt in Scotland. She added: "This is an excellent result and will have a positive effect for claimants in Scotland. A lot of women have come to us wanting to pursue action but have been time-barred. Now, even after four or five years they have the chance to take their case to the civil courts.
"It could have an impact on hundreds if not thousands of council workers previously prevented from making claims. We're in the second wave of claims so this is a good opportunity for many people to take."
Birmingham City Council had challenged the ruling in the Supreme Court from last November but a panel of five judges dismissed the authority's appeal.
The court heard the women were among workers who had been denied bonuses which had been given to staff in traditionally male-dominated jobs such as refuse collectors, street cleaners, road workers and grave diggers.
The court was told that during 2007 and 2008, tens of thousands of pounds of compensation was given out to female council employees who were still working at the council.
More payments were made to women who had recently left and had taken cases to an employment tribunal.
However, it did not apply to anyone who had left the council more than six months previously.