Terms & Conditions
THE EQUALITY ACT 2010 – INFORMATION FOR PROSPECTIVE CLIENTS
Equal Pay is about sex discrimination. It is not about fairness of wages. If there is no difference between what men and women are paid then there is no claim. There are three types of equal pay claim and they have slightly different rules. The first is “LIKE WORK”. This is where the man does the same or a very similar job but gets more money. Such cases are quite rare.
The second is known as “job rated as equivalent” or RAE. This applies to manual workers in Local Government whose jobs have been rated under a job evaluation study. These claims are very common as there are lots of examples where men who are on the same grade as women but do different jobs, get more money in their weekly or monthly pay packets usually by fixed bonuses. Most clients will have such a claim. This is the current process which GCC are undertaking with the New Job Evaluation Scheme
The third type is called “Equal Value”. This is where the man’s job and your job have not been rated by the employer under a job evaluation study. In these cases the Tribunal asks an Independent Expert to score the jobs on a job-to-job basis. This type of claim can now take a number of years to conclude due to Employment Tribunal (ET) delays and very limited numbers of Independent Experts.
- TIME LIMITS
There are strict time limits. You must lodge a complaint with the employment tribunal within six months of your date of termination of contract, retirement or if you move to a new job under a different contract of employment. If you left or changed jobs more than 6 months ago it may still be possible to take a Sheriff Court claim but additional fees apply. If you think you have a claim do not wait until the time limit has nearly expired, take advice as early as possible. In Scotland you can be awarded a maximum of five years’ back pay and compensation going forward from the date of claim until the hearing or settlement. It is therefore very important that you lodge a claim as early as possible. Do not just wait to see what happens as you could be losing out. If you change jobs you must tell us.
- ACAS CONCILIATION
It is a requirement that ACAS are notified of our intention to lodge an Employment Tribunal claim to allow your employer the opportunity to resolve this dispute without the need to go to court. Although we believe it is very unlikely that this dispute will be resolved in this manner, we still have to give GCC the chance to do so because this can affect remedies awarded by the tribunal. If either party declines this opportunity to use early conciliation, then ACAS will issue a certificate which needs to be provided as part of the claim which will then be required to be submitted to the Employment Tribunal. The ACAS Conciliation process can take up to 6 weeks to complete before the claim is issued to the Tribunal.
- LEGAL EXPENSES INSURANCE OR UNION SERVICES
The Law Society of Scotland requires solicitors to inform clients of the various options in funding legal claims. We are not bound by their rules but we seek to provide you with all appropriate information. A4ESL only operate one funding method namely a Contingency Fee Agreement (CFA) by which we deduct a percentage of any compensation that you recover. Solicitors (currently Addleshaw Goddard) will be instructed to undertake the legal work on your behalf. This allows us to operate a ‘No win, No Fee’ Arrangement in Scotland and to widen access to justice for low paid workers who could not afford to pay fees charged by other solicitors.
You do need to know that there are other, possibly cheaper, options. One alternative is to go to your union. The union service may be free, but they have the right to withdraw legal support at any time. The second option is via your insurance company. Many people have legal expenses insurance as part of their home contents policy and some policies, but not all, cover equal pay claims. This service is free, but the insurance company will select their own solicitors and we will not act for them because we do not agree to their terms or their control of the claims. If you want to use your insurance policy, then you must make the application for assistance direct with your insurance company and let us know.
- TUPE TRANSFERS
If you used to work for the council but your employment was transferred to a new employer these claims are much more difficult. You need to fully explain what happened and when as soon as possible. Time limits are very important in such cases, so you need to tell us straight away. If your job subsequently transferred out of GCC you must tell us straight away.
- MALE CLAIMS
Men can also make equal pay claims. As these equal pay claims against Councils are about sex discrimination, a woman must first win a claim before a man can win his. Male claims will be stayed or sisted until these legal issues of the women are determined. We have obtained thousands of pounds in compensation for many men who were told by unions and other lawyers that they did not have any case. If you think you have a claim contact us.
- OUTSTANDING LIABILITIES
Council Tax Arrears – The Council are able to deduct any and all outstanding Council Tax arrears from any settlement money you may be due, if the amount owed is bigger than the money due this could result in you still being liable for Fees.
Informal Debt Solutions – If you have any outsource such as a trust deed, they can take you settlement offer and make any necessary payment to your debts and take a fee. So if you believe you are in this situation it is best to contact us prior to signing up with us so that we can provide you with the best possible advise.
Sequestration – If you are considering or have sequestrated and this has not yet been discharged then any money due to you could be taken to pay any debt owed. Once discharged from the sequestration then all money is yours. Please contact us should this apply to you.
Requirements to keep us informed
- CANCELLATIONS AND TERMINATIONS
When you change your mind at the beginning and do not wish to proceed with AES within the 14 days. This is done for free.
When you decide to end the agreement more than 14 day after the agreement. This would be subject to fees as set out in our contingency fee agreement.
- Due to the nature of your claim against GCC, we are unable to determine in advance the exact amounts in terms of any compensation that is awarded to you as a result of a successful claim. We have therefore included four examples, providing indication of our fees + VAT which have been applied to hypothetical compensation amounts of £1,000, £3,000 and £10,000.
Example 1: Gross Compensation award of £1,000
|Our Fee (10%)||100|
|Total invoice Including VAT||120|
|Your Compensation minus our fees + VAT||£880|
Example 2: Gross Compensation award of £3,000
|Our Fee (10%)||300|
|Total invoice Including VAT||360|
|Your Compensation minus our fees + VAT||£2640|
Example 3: Gross Compensation award of £10,000
|Our Fee (10%)||1000|
|Total invoice Including VAT||1200|
|Your Compensation minus our fees + VAT||£8,800|
Example 4: Gross Compensation Calculation & Outstanding Liability Deduction
|Our Fee (10%)||1000|
|Council Tax Liability Deduction||650|
|Total invoice Including VAT||1200|
|Your Compensation minus our fees + VAT and deduction||£8150|