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Update-25th-March-2015- Equal pay cases v Glasgow City Council and others

Equal pay cases v Glasgow City Council and others

Our appeal at the Employment Appeal Tribunal in Edinburgh took place on 9th – 11th December 2014. However, the appeal hearing did not conclude and further dates have been set for 12 -15th May 2015. While the appeal is underway we cannot make public comment but we will update the website if there are any significant developments.

We have an expert legal team instructed on behalf of the 5,500 claimants represented by Fox and Partners. We have instructed one of the top QCs in the UK, Mr Robin Allen, who is an expert in the field of discrimination and equal pay law. In addition we have top Scottish Counsel Mr Jonathan Mitchell QC. We have undertaken considerable preparation for the appeal and have worked in full cooperation with the legal representatives instructed for union backed claimants.

Please note that, given the number of claimants involved in this case, it is difficult to respond to individual telephone calls and e-mails. If there are any developments in relation to your individual case we have a professional duty to write to you. In the meantime we appreciate your continued patience and cooperation and ask you to keep visiting our website for updates. If you do not have a computer at home your local library should be able to assist you.

The first equal pay cases against Glasgow City Council were lodged in summer 2005. Please be assured that, almost a decade later, we are doing everything in our power to bring your case to a successful conclusion as soon as possible. We remain confident that we have strong grounds of appeal and we will keep you updated if there are any further developments.

Carol Fox

Fox and Partners

Update-25th-March-2015 – 2nd wave cases v Fife Council

We represent 577 claimants with equal pay cases against Fife Council. All of our cases have been settled up to 1st April 2007 when the Council implemented Single Status, the period after this date is known as 2nd wave. We have been involved in long running 2nd wave hearings in other Councils and we therefore proposed a number of steps to be taken by Fife Council to progress these cases. We have no hearing dates in the diary at present but hope to meet with the Council in the near future to address possible settlement of 2nd wave cases. The outcome of another case addressing similar legal disputes may influence these discussions so we are unable to set a deadline at present. Fife Council have advised the Tribunal that they are willing to engage in discussions to see if an out of court settlement can be achieved.

If the Council is unwilling to settle these 2nd wave cases then a further timetable will be set by the Employment Judge to commence a full 2nd wave hearing and all the preparation required. This may take some time. If a settlement offer is made we have a professional duty to write to you. If there are no further updates on the website and you have not received a letter then it is likely that settlement discussions are ongoing. As you will appreciate it is not always possible to post public statements when we are in negotiations.

Please be reassured however that we are doing everything possible to progress these cases. We thank you for your continued patience and cooperation.

Carol Fox

Fox and Partners

Update 25th March – Equal pay cases v Falkirk Council

2nd wave cases v Falkirk Council

We represent 242 claimants with ongoing equal pay cases against Falkirk Council for the 2nd wave period after implementation of Single Status.There are no Tribunal dates listed at present as parties have agreed to postpone future hearings to allow settlement discussions to take place.

We remain in discussions with the Council with the aim of reaching settlement of these cases. We have contacted the Solicitor representing the Council to request further dates for meetings in 2015. While we are in discussions it is not always possible to make public statements on the website. If 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.

Carol Fox

Fox and Partners

Joint Press Release – 2nd wave equal pay cases v North Lanarkshire Council

North Lanarkshire Council, Fox and Partners, Action 4 Equality (Scotland) Ltd and Unison

2nd wave equal pay cases v North Lanarkshire Council

All parties involved in the above litigation are pleased to announce that settlement has been agreed in relation to 2nd wave equal pay cases. This agreement follows detailed negotiations between the council, Fox and Partners, Action 4 Equality (Scotland) Ltd and UNISON has been welcomed by all parties.  This settlement covers more than 4,000 claimants.

Following months of negotiations the settlement was approved by the council today and means that 2nd wave claimants will receive payment in respect of outstanding claims. A detailed timetable has been agreed between the Council and legal representatives to make sure that this settlement process brings this litigation to a conclusion in the very near future. It is anticipated that settlement offers will be sent out to these claimants in early April. All parties are pleased to have reached a negotiated settlement and appreciate the continued patience and cooperation of all claimants.

Councillor Jim McCabe, leader of North Lanarkshire Council, said: “I have fought all of my life for equality and that is why I instructed officials to enter negotiations last year with a view to settling claims where that was appropriate.

“I am pleased that this issue – which has been complex and challenging for all concerned – can now be dealt with.”

Stefan Cross QC of Action 4 Equality (Scotland) Ltd said: “I am pleased that settlement has been agreed.  This summer sees the 10th anniversary of equal pay cases in Scotland. It is now time for all Councils to follow the lead of North Lanarkshire and enter into constructive discussions.”

Carol Fox of Fox and Partners added “I am really delighted that the Council have agreed settlement. This means that we can bring the 2nd wave litigation to an end. We have also secured agreement from the Council that further evaluations of male and female jobs will be undertaken to avoid the need for any further litigation. It has not been easy but I am pleased to have made our contribution to advancing equality in North Lanarkshire. It is also helpful that we have worked cooperatively with the local unions.”

John Mooney of UNISON said: “This is really good news for women who work at the council – providing valued public services to local people. Being recognised and valued helps us to the work we do. So it’s good for us, good for the council and good for the people we serve. We are grateful to everyone involved for getting this sorted, it’s been a long process.”

The full details of the overall settlement will remain confidential. Those employees covered by the settlement will be contacted by their representatives as soon as the formal settlement timetable is underway. It is hoped that letters will be sent to individual claimants in early April.

Additional information for EV Claimants represented by Fox and Partners

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION FOR EV CLAIMANTS REPRESENTED BY FOX AND PARTNERS

Important Announcement – 2nd Wave Equal Pay Settlement Agreed with North Lanarkshire Council

We are very pleased to announce a further major equal pay settlement. Please see attached Press Statement agreed between the parties. We are very pleased for our 3,200 claimants that after many months of talks settlement offers for all 2nd wave cases will be start to be processed in early April.

Please note however that this settlement does not cover Equal Value cases of Clerical workers and Classroom Assistants for the period before 2007, known as the First Wave period. These 350 cases are presently proceeding to an EV Remedies Hearing due to take place in the Glasgow Employment Tribunal on 20th April 2015. 

We call upon all Scottish Councils with outstanding equal pay cases to review their litigation strategy and to engage in constructive settlement discussions.

January 2015 Update

Fox and Partners are prepared for another busy year ahead.

Summer 2015 will see the 10th Anniversary of the first mass equal pay cases against Scottish Local Authorities. We are doing everything in our power to bring these cases to a successful conclusion – this year if possible! We have updated the website for each area listed below and posted Tribunal hearing dates where these are listed. If no hearing dates are listed this often means that we are in discussions behind the scenes and we will post an update when there are any further developments. We appreciate the continued patience and cooperation of our many thousands of claimants. We are experts in this field and we ensure that we do everything possible to represent your interests.

We remain hopeful that 2015 will also see the abolition of unfair Employment Tribunal Fees which have restricted access to justice for so many people. We were mentioned in a recent Report by the Business and Transport Committee of the House of Commons on 12th January 2015 for our efforts in our JR to challenge the introduction of the fees regime. The proposals in the recent Smith Commission are to devolve the administration of Employment Tribunals to Scotland. This would be a very positive step forward and hopefully will also lead to the end of such fees.

If you do experience problems at work this year it is important to take early advice to protect your position. Don’t be put off by ET fees. If you are treated unfairly or suffering discrimination then click on the button on our Home Page and send us an initial enquiry. We are here to help.

We are here to make your rights a reality.

Carol Fox

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19th January 2015 – Joint Statement – Loudon & Others V North Lanarkshire Council

The Employment Judge and the Tribunal has today granted an adjournment of the Tribunal hearing due to take place this week until the future date listed on 23 March 2015. This position is agreed by Fox and Partners, UNISON, Unite and North Lanarkshire Council. This adjournment will allow time for discussions with a view to achieving a settlement, following positive talks last week.

The parties will issue a further statement when we are in a position to do so. For the moment we appreciate your continued co-operation and patience.

Carol Fox
Fox and Partners

Update 15th January 2015 – Equal pay cases v Midlothian Council

EV cases

Having being involved in lengthy settlement discussions with Midlothian Council we have now concluded and have written to claimants individually to advise them of the settlement reached. We are currently only waiting on a small number of claims being finalized and payment made. We are taking steps to withdraw cases from the Employment Tribunal and are unable to take on any new cases.

Update 15th January 2015 – Equal pay cases v Clackmannanshire Council

2nd wave cases

We represent 20 claimants with on-going equal pay cases against Clackmannanshire Council.  We are keen to enter into settlement discussions with the Council however, to date, no offers of settlement have been forthcoming.  We have attended a Preliminary Hearing in the Glasgow Employment Tribunal on 1st December 2014 and a further Preliminary Hearing has been set for 1st February 2015.  We are continually chasing the Council for settlement offers in order to bring this matter to a close. If 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.