Friday, 13 July 2012
South Lanarkshire (26 June 2012)
Lots of readers have been in touch to ask about the Employment Tribunal's decision in respect of South Lanarkshire Council (SLC).
The key point to note is that South Lanarkshire Council's job evaluation scheme (JES) has been declared 'unfit for purpose' – because it does not satisfy the most basic requirements of the UK's equal pay legislation including the 1970 Equal Pay Act.
The Glasgow Employment Tribunal - in a quite devastating judgement – determined that the in-house SLC job evaluation scheme ‘is not to be relied upon’ as far as equal pay is concerned.
So where does that leave South Lanarkshire Council?
In a dirty great hole and one entirely of its own making - I would say - though many of the senior people responsible for this mess have now left South Lanarkshire Council - some with big fat pensions, of course.
The council put all its eggs in one basket - it relied upon its 'in-house' job evaluation scheme as a complete defence to employees' equal pay claims - but now that strategy has blown up in the council's face.
"So what should people do now?” – is the question on many readers’ lips.
Well if you already have an equal pay claim up and running with Action 4 Equality Scotland - then you should do nothing other than sit tight – because your claim is already well underway.
But if you do not, then you should consider raising a claim against South Lanarkshire Council - straight away.
You can do so either by sending Mark Irvine your name and full postal address by e-mail to: email@example.com
Or phone the Action 4 Equality Scotland Edinburgh office - on 0131 652 7366.
In any event I would definitely resist any invitation to take up a claim with one of the trade unions.
Because for years the unions were telling their own members that they had no equal pay claim – and actively discouraged people from raising claims in South Lanarkshire.
The reality is that the unions have been supporting the council all this time and – as far as I’m concerned - it's pretty clear that the trade unions can't be trusted to do the right thing by their members.
It’s possible that lots of council workers in South Lanarkshire may even have a case against their own trade unions.
Because if you were discouraged from pursuing an equal pay claim in the past – on the advice of your trade union – any claim registered in 2012 will be worth less than those lodged in 2006.