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Equal Value Hearing v NLC – Update from Hearing on 2nd July 2015

Equal Value Hearing v NLC – Update from Hearing on 2nd July 2015

Our legal team including Daphne Romney QC attended a continued Stage 1 Equal Value Hearing on 2nd July 2015 to address the outstanding disputes regarding Clerical Assistants, Classroom Assistants and Sheltered Housing Wardens. We made robust legal submissions to avoid lengthy tribunal procedures as Equal Value hearings can take some time, especially when an Independent Expert has to be appointed to assess the claimant and comparator jobs. However the Tribunal is not obliged to appoint an expert. Our QC and the solicitor for NLC agreed that there was no requirement for an Independent Expert. The Judge then ordered that additional evidence had to be lodged with the Tribunal and further dates were listed for 17th and 18th August 2015 at the Glasgow Tribunal. She will then decide whether the Tribunal wishes to appoint an expert.

We continue to argue that claimants in the posts of Classroom Assts, Clerical Assistants and Sheltered Housing Wardens should be able to compare themselves with the higher male comparators. However if NLC maintain their present objections further procedure may be required after the August dates.

All claimants subject to this EV cases are entitled to attend these hearings. The Tribunal sits between 10 – 1pm then 2-4 pm for a full day hearing but you do not need to stay for the full hearing. The Glasgow Employment Tribunal is at 215 Bothwell Street, Glasgow, G2 7TS. Please be aware that hearings can be postponed or arrangements changed at short notice.

We will continue to update the website so please keep visiting the NLC postings regularly. If there are any matters relating to your individual case we have a professional duty to write to you. If you do not receive a letter and there is no further update on the website this is because there are no further developments. We appreciate your continued patience and cooperation.

Fox and Partners

7th July 2015

Update – Aberdeenshire Council – 29th May 2015

Update – Aberdeenshire Council – 29th May 2015

EV and 2nd wave cases

We represent 52 claimants with on-going equal pay cases against Aberdeenshire Council.  Due to ongoing delays we requested a Preliminary Hearing which took place on 21st May 2015 in the Aberdeen Employment Tribunal. A further hearing has been arranged for 30th June 2015.

Following robust submissions the Judge has ordered the Council to clearly state their defence to these equal pay cases within 21 days of the last PH. No substantial hearings have taken place against Aberdeenshire. Full hearing dates will need to be listed later this year. However before legal arguments can take place at any 2nd wave hearing the Council must state clearly whether they have any defence to these cases, and if so the nature of any defence, and whether they had knowledge of pre-existing pay inequality. We expect further progress to be made at the next PH at the end of June.

There are also a small number of equal value claimants who have not received any settlement. Some of these cases date back to 2005 may be due compensation back to 2000. Further delay will only result in additional costs to the Council as interest is added at 8%. We have tried to engage this Council in settlement discussions but to date have had no constructive response.

We understand that the political leadership of Aberdeenshire Council has recently changed. This may influence the Council’s strategy towards this litigation and we would urge all claimants to lobby their local Councillors, MP and MSP to question why the Council has yet to resolve these equal pay cases. Some cases have been lodged for nearly 10 years.

We will keep you advised of developments and will post updates when we can. We thank you for your continued patience and cooperation.

Carol Fox

29th May 2015

Update – Falkirk Council – 29th May 2015

Update – Falkirk Council – 29th May 2015

2nd wave cases from December 2006 after Single Status

We represent 239 claimants with 2nd wave cases against Falkirk Council for the period after the implementation of Single Status. We attended a further Preliminary Hearing on 22nd May 20015 when further progress was made. Before we can arrange dates for a 2nd wave hearing important legal matters need to be clarified, particularly in relation to any defences argued by the Council and their knowledge of pre-existing pay inequality. The Council have been given until 11th June 2015 to finally confirm their position. We have instructed Ms Daphney Romney QC to represent out members at this hearing which will be conducted by telephone.

In the absence of any settlement offers we will press the Judge to list dates for a full hearing later this year. We will keep updating the website and thank you for your continued patience and cooperation.

Carol Fox

29th May 2015

Update 29th May 2015 – Equal pay cases v East Dunbartonshire Council

Update 29th May 2015 – Equal pay cases v East Dunbartonshire Council

Further to our last update we have again chased settlement offers for the 18 claimants we represent against East Dunbartonshire Council. We have pursued settlement offers for some considerable time. Despite reaching agreement in principle with the Council we have yet to receive any offers.

We have been advised that due to a lack of resources at the Council they require a further time to recruit a new member of staff to deal with these settlements. We have expressed our concern about the ongoing delay. In the meantime Employment Tribunal proceedings will be postponed. When the Council make settlement offers we have a professional duty to write to you. In the meantime we ask for your continued patience and cooperation. Please keep checking our website which will be updated when there are further developments which we can share. While we appreciate that this ongoing delay is very frustrating we are doing everything in our power to bring your case to a conclusion.

Carol Fox

29th May 2015

Update – West Lothian Council – 29th May 2015

Update – West Lothian Council – 29th May 2015

Following further Preliminary Hearing on 27th May

2nd wave cases after 30th September 2007 after implementation of Single Status

We represent over 100 claimants with 2nd wave cases against West Lothian Council. We have undertaken further preparation and attended another Preliminary Hearing on 27th May 2015. We are pleased to report that further progress has been made at the Tribunal. The Council stated to the Judge that they have no GMF defence. We are pressing the Council also to make clear that they were aware of pay inequality before the implementation of Single Status in September 2007. These steps are very important before we can progress 2nd wave cases. A further PH has been arranged for 8th July 2015.

At the time of writing West Lothian Council has refused to enter settlement discussions on behalf of our claimants. We therefore insisted on further procedure before the Tribunal. However we also submitted that we would seek costs against the Council and their legal representatives if we are forced to prepare for lengthy Tribunal Hearings which collapse or are conceded by the Council at a later date.

We will keep you advised of any further developments. If any settlement offers are made before the next hearing in July we will write to you. If the Council refuse to engage in constructive settlement discussions then further procedure will be required and full hearing dates will need to be listed for later this year.

We appreciate your continued patience and cooperation.

Carol Fox

29th May 2015

27th May – Update – North Lanarkshire 1st wave Equal Value cases – Following Remedies Hearing on 26th May

Update – North Lanarkshire 1st wave Equal Value cases – Following Remedies Hearing on 26th May

We are very pleased to report that considerable progress was made yesterday at a lengthy Remedies Hearing in the Glasgow Employment Tribunal. Following further discussions and disputes over the identification of male comparators the Tribunal will now issue Judgments and awards for 307 claimants. The sums relate to underpayment in breach of the Equal Pay Act 1970 for the period between November 2000 and January 2007 called the First wave period.

The Tribunal has started this process today but will send all the Judgements at the same time to Fox and Partners. We will then forward these to each individual claimant with a letter fully explaining the judgement, the award and any further steps required in each case.

This award is not the same as a settlement process. The Tribunal will issue awards which require clear legal advice, particularly in relation to deductions required by law. This will be fully explained but please note that we cannot answer any questions over the phone.

We regret to advise however that legal disputes remain in relation to Shelter Housing Wardens, Classroom Assistants and some Clerical Assistants as the Council continues to argue about the identity of male comparator for these posts.

As a result for claimants in these posts a further hearing has been arranged to take place on Thursday 2nd July 2015. We will write to all claimants in these posts in due course to fully explain the ongoing dispute. Some claimants in these posts may receive a small award now, against a lower comparator, but we will continue to argue for further compensation against the higher comparators at the Hearing in July. At the present time Sheltered Housing Wardens will receive no award as we need to make further submissions in July and additional hearings and procedure may be required.  Please be assured that we made robust submissions to try to bring all cases to a successful conclusion now but these were resisted by the Council.

The Council has 42 days to make payments from the date of the Judgment. As this will involve over 300 claimants we will put appropriate procedures in place to ensure that all awards are processed as soon as possible. We cannot give an exact date at present.

Once again please note that this is a legal process. We appreciate your continued patience and cooperation. All EV claimants will receive an individual letter in due course but we cannot give you an exact date nor discuss matters over the phone. Please do not call the office asking about your letter or award as this will only slow matters down.

Many EV claimants have also been recently been made a 2nd wave settlement. You will appreciate that we are extremely busy. We are taking all possible steps to keep you advised and will write to you in the near future when the Tribunal has issued all the Judgments.

 

Carol Fox

Fox and Partners

27th May 2015

NLC 2nd wave settlement -29th May 2015

NLC 2nd wave settlement -29th May 2015

Payments have now been made to over 1000 Claimants and further payments are being processed. Please do not call our office asking about payment dates but keep checking the website for updates. We have made considerable process and worked extremely hard during the last month to progress over 3000 settlements. We must ask everyone to remain patient to allow all settlements to be processed. We will contact any Claimants if we have any concerns or if we have not received all paperwork.

Thank you

Carol Fox

Update – 2nd wave cases v Fife Council – 19th May 2015

Update – 2nd wave cases v Fife Council – 19th May 2015

 Further to our last update we can now inform you of recent developments. We attended a Preliminary Hearing at the Employment Tribunal in Dundee on 19th May. The Council solicitor again stressed their willingness to enter settlement discussions with all parties. We agreed that further discussions would be helpful but also requested that Hearing dates should be listed and preparation for a full 2nd wave hearing undertaken in case settlement discussions do not prove successful. The Employment Judge agreed to list a 20 day hearing due to commence on 6th October 2015 until 2nd November 2015.  In our experience in other areas when hearing dates are listed and preparation is underway all parties engage more constructively in settlement discussions. We will keep you advised and will post all hearing dates on our website.

We have also made contact with other claimants representatives to try to arrange joint discussions with the Council and they have agreed to this joint approach. We will update the website when we can but you will appreciate that as discussions continue it is not always possible to make public comment on the website.

We appreciate your continued patience and cooperation. We are doing everything possible to bring your case to a successful conclusion either by way of settlement or at the Tribunal.

 Thank you

Carol Fox

North Lanarkshire 2nd wave settlement – update on Monday 18th May 2015

North Lanarkshire 2nd wave settlement – update on Monday 18th May 2015

Further to our last update we have been extremely busy sending out over 3000 offers of settlement, which has involved a great deal of work for all of our staff. Our office continues to receive a high volume of calls and e-mails.

We would please ask that you do not contact our office as we are in the middle of a legal process and dealing with additional enquiries only slows down the process for everyone. Please be patient and if you have not received your documentation by the end of this month then write to our enquiries email where this can be dealt with by one of our team enquiries@foxandparters.co.uk 

We are grateful for your continued patience and cooperation.

Carol Fox

Fox and Partners

McDonald and others v Glasgow City Council – update on Monday 18th May 2015

McDonald and others v Glasgow City Council  – update on Monday 18th May 2015

Our appeal was heard at the Employment Appeal Tribunal in Edinburgh during a four day hearing from 12th  – 15th May 2015. The Employment Judge Lady Stacey and the 2 wing members have now retired to consider all the evidence and to reach a decision. This may take several months. We will update the website as soon as there are any further developments. Our legal team have worked very hard on your behalf to progress these cases and our claimants were expertly represented by both Mr Robin Allen QC and Mr Jonathan Mitchell QC. We also worked cooperatively and constructively with all other claimant representatives.

There is no indication right now that Glasgow City Council are willing to enter into settlement discussions on these cases. It may be possible that this appeal could go further to the higher appeal courts. We will keep you advised. We appreciate your continued patience and cooperation and ask that you do not contact our office for updates on your case. Please keep visiting our website for information. If we there are any developments which relate to your individual case we have a professional duty to write to you.

Thank you

Carol Fox

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