marked fields are mandetory. * NEW EQUAL PAY CLAIMS - 2012 ONWARDS
If you are still in the employment of the Council or have been employed in the last 5 years we can lodge a claim now on the clear understanding that you can recover a maximum of 5 years back pay compensation from the date that we lodge an equal pay complaint with the Employment Tribunal. This means that any new equal pay claims by law can only go back a maximum of 5 years from the date of your submission and forward until the complaint is resolved. This means that if you put your claim in now (2017) it will go back to 2012 and will go on until the claim has been resolved.
INSTRUCTION TO SOLICITORS
Action 4 Equality (Scotland) Limited will instruct, Solicitors (currently Addleshaw Goddard), if a claim is lodged in respect of an equal pay complaint. The Solicitor will undertake all the legal work in relation to the claim. In due course, you will receive correspondence from the Solicitors.
We believe this arrangement is clearly in your best interest to enable you to pursue a claim on a 'No Win No Fee' basis in accordance with Scottish arrangements. If you would prefer to pay on an ongoing hourly rate basis please let us know. MARK IRVINE (CONSULTANT)
Mark Irvine is an experienced consultant who works with Action 4 Equality as well as pursuing his own independent interests. Mark was previously Head of Local Government and chief negotiator for Unison in Scotland. Mark writes a popular blog site on equal pay and other issues which can be read online
Action 4 Equality Blog. 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.
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 make a Sheriff Court claim but additional fees may apply but no fees will be charged until your consent has been given. If you think you have a claim, do not wait until the time limit has nearly expired, take advice from us 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 is concluded. 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.
ACAS EARLY 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.
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.
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 is such cases so you need to tell us straight away.
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.
COOLING OFF PERIOD
Should you complete the forms to us and then change your mind you must inform us, in writing, within 14 days of the date of signing the CFA so that we can cancel any proceedings. You will not incur any fees. After the 14 day period fees will be incurred in line with the CFA.
I agree to the terms of the Contingency Fee Agreement *
Contingency Fee Agreement
marked fields are mandetory. *
In this Agreement
"we" and "us" and "our" refer to Action 4 Equality (Scotland) Limited
A legally binding contract between Action 4 Equality (Scotland) Limited and you. What is covered by this Agreement?
We will arrange advice, assistance and representation in pursuing a claim for equal pay, payments of any kind due to you and other disputes with your employer related to equal pay. This includes going to the Employment Tribunal and It also includes mediation. We will instruct solicitors and, where appropriate, Counsel to take all steps in any legal proceedings and we will be responsible for their fees.
Our commitment to you.
We will always act in your best interests in pursuing your claim and try to get the best possible result, subject to any duty to the Tribunals and the Courts. We, in conjunction with any appointed lawyers, will ensure you have the best advice about the risks and benefits of taking legal action and whether to accept an offer of settlement.
We expect to be your sole representatives but will where appropriate appoint solicitors and/or counsel to act on our behalf. You are free to instruct anyone else to advise, assist or represent you in connection with your claim, but if you do this without our approval we can terminate this Agreement and charge you for the work done in accordance with this agreement. You are also free to settle your claim at any time, but if you do this without our approval, or against our advice, we can terminate this Agreement and charge you in accordance with this agreement. Your commitment to us.
You agree to the following. You will give us clear instructions and information to allow us to represent you properly. You will not ask us to represent you in an improper or unreasonable way. You will not deliberately mislead us. You will co-operate with us when asked. You will tell us about any important changes to your personal or employment circumstances. You authorise us to obtain on your behalf any information we need from anyone concerning your claim. We can share information about your claim with our solicitors and other organisations or persons associated with us.
What happens if you win?
If you win (which means a Tribunal awards you a payment of any kind or you accept an offer of payment from the employer to settle your claim), you will pay us a fee of 10% (plus VAT at the current rate) of the payment. At the date of this Agreement, the total fee would be 12% of the payment. You get the rest. So if you had a payment of £10,000, our fee would be £1,200 and you would keep £8,800. Any increased future pay and pension are 100% yours.
You authorise us to receive the payment. You agree that we can deduct our fee from that amount. You agree that we can instruct your employer to send a cheque for the payment to us. We can then keep the cheque until you have paid our fee. If the payment is made direct to you, you will pay us the fee directly. We are also entitled to any interest on that payment after the settlement date.
You agree that we are entitled to payment of any award of legal expenses made in your favour by a Tribunal. We will pay any expenses awarded by a Tribunal against you unless they result from you breaking any part of this Agreement or from your unreasonable conduct. What happens if you lose?
If you lose, you do not pay us anything. Ending the Agreement.
You can end this Agreement by writing to us at any time. If you end this Agreement before you have received an award or an offer of settlement, you agree to pay us a fixed fee of £500 (plus VAT at the current rate) for every six months (or part of six months) this Agreement has been in force. So for example if you end the agreement after 15 months, you will pay us £1,500 plus VAT.
We can end this Agreement by writing to you if you break any of your commitments to us or if you appoint another representative without our approval. If we end this Agreement for one of those reasons, you agree to pay us a fixed fee of £500 (plus VAT at the current rate) for every six months (or part of six months) this Agreement has been in force.
We can end this Agreement by writing to you if you settle your claim without our approval or against our advice. In that case, you agree to pay us a fee of 10% (plus VAT at the current rate) of the settlement payment which you have rejected or accepted. You agree to let us know the amount of any settlement offer as soon as you receive the offer.
We can end this Agreement if we think that you are unlikely to win or if we think it is uneconomic for us to continue acting for you. If this happens you do not owe us anything. This would not affect your rights to continue the litigation by yourself. Other points.
This Agreement is governed by the Law of Scotland.
I agree to the terms of the Contingency Fee Agreement *