Wednesday, 20 February 2019

Even More Questions and Answers



In Friday's post I asked Glasgow claimants to refrain from phoning the A4ES office because Karl and his team are busy working hard to progress all the outstanding settlement claims.

Nonetheless people are still ringing the office and asking the same questions, again and again, which is a terrible waste of time, energy and resources - especially when issues such as 'How far does my claim go back?' have already been explained previously on the blog. 

Speculation and ill-informed gossip on Facebook doesn't help and is simply fuelling people's anxieties when there is really nothing for anyone to be worried about.

As an aside, I received an email over the weekend from someone asking if she is an A4ES client (without providing a home address, post code or NI number), yet the blog site explains how this can be so much more easily done 'online' - by visiting the A4ES web site.    

So let's all calm down, take a deep breath or two and allow Karl and his team get on with the work in hand.

If you have an issue that requires urgent attention, the A4ES email address is: enquiries@action4equality.co.uk      

  

More Questions and Answers (15/02/19)



The following advice letter has been sent today to all A4ES clients in Glasgow.

A printed version was sent by post yesterday and a digital version has been emailed to everyone else today, so that people receive the information at roughly the same time - otherwise the rumour mill starts going crazy.

If any clients have not registered an email address with A4ES, you can do so by contacting the A4ES office at: enquiries@action4equality.co.uk

Please don't phone the office unless you have a very urgent query, as this just slows down the ability of Karl and his team to get on with the settlement process.

As further information comes out in the weeks ahead there will be plenty of time for people to check and amend important details, so there is no need for anyone to panic or get anxious.

But the best way to raise any queries is by email so if you haven't yet registered an email address with A4ES, please consider doing this as soon as possible. 

As the letter says, don't listen to the 'rumour mill' when it comes to Glasgow and Equal Pay - A4ES is and always will be your best and most reliable source of information.

So keep watching this space.

  

15 February 2019
Dear A4ES Client

Glasgow and Equal Pay

I am writing to update you on your equal pay claims against Glasgow City Council.

The good news is that following 18 months of negotiation meetings with the Council we have eventually managed to reach a partial settlement. The details of the agreement are part of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) and includes an agreed method of calculating each of the claims. The details of this document are confidential as they cover the whole of the claimant group, not just individuals.

Please don't listen to the 'rumour mill' when it comes to Glasgow and Equal Pay - A4ES is and always will be your best and most reliable source of information.

However, I can tell you that the settlement period will cover the dates from (DATES VARY FROM CLAIMANT TO CLAIMANT), which is 5 years back from the earliest date that your claim was registered with the Tribunal up until either March 2017 or March 2018, depending on the Council’s available finances, but we would expect it to be 2018. The settlement will also be based on all your actual pay for all jobs worked during this period include your overtime. The details of your hours and jobs will be sent to you along with your settlement.

If you have left the Council before March 2018 then the settlement will cover the period up until you left bringing the claim to an end once your payment has been received. If you were in the pension scheme during the period, then this will also need to be recalculated following settlement payment. We will be contacting the pension fund to try and get this done as soon as possible.

If you are still with the Council or left after March 2018, then the claim continues but the claims are put on hold at the tribunal (sisted) pending the outcome of the ongoing job evaluation study and negotiations on the new pay and grading structure. We will begin negotiations on a further payment in 2021 or return to Tribunal.

The settlement offers themselves and our advice will be sent in May 2019 and will be paid 28 days after your fully completed settlement agreement is returned. So as long as the documentation is correct on return the payment to you should be in June.

We have enclosed a Questions and Answers document which includes the most commonly asked questions.

If there have been any changes in your circumstances such as changes of name or address, please let us know about these as soon as possible. You can either ring the office or again you can email enquiries@action4equality.co.uk.

Yours sincerely

Stefan Cross (Hon) QC


Equal Pay Update – 2019
Q&A

 1. When will my offer come out?
Once the Central Administration Committee approves the deal. council finance and administrative staff will process the pay data of each claimant to produce a settlement offer. Due to the number of claims and complexity of the pay system, this is likely to take several weeks, so offers are unlikely to be Issued
before May 2019.

2. How was my offer worked out?
Your offer is worked out based on:
i. The post(s) you have held with the Council
ii. The length of time in each post
iii. The number of hours worked in the post,
iv. Subject to a maximum 5 years back from the date of your claim(s)

3. How will I know what my offer ls worth, is its full value and If less how much less?
If the council makes you an offer, you will receive detailed legal advice explaining the offer. The settlement is based on legal analysis by the claimant side lawyers, with each element of the deal being measured against possible outcomes in tribunal.
The agreement reached is a realistic estimate of what each claimant would have received in court.

4. Will I get to know my comparator?
The settlement does not use Individual named comparators as it was too difficult to Identify an appropriate comparator. Instead calculations are based on grade.

5. Do I need to advise the tax office?
No, the Council Is in contact with HMRC and will agree an amount in respect of all liabilities for Tax and National Insurance.

6. What will my tax liability be?
The Tax liability will be agreed between the Council and HMRC

7. How long will it take for the money to be paid?
It is likely that payments will be made by July 2019.

8. Will this affect my benefits?
Depending of the amount or compensation, your social security benefits may be affected. You should seek advice from a welfare rights advice service via Glasgow Advice and Information Network (GAIN)

9. This settlement only covers one period; how will the next settlement be calculated?
The current settlement preserves all of your rights for the period after settlement until the introduction of a new pay and grading scheme.
When the outcomes of the new job evaluation are known, probably in 2021, we will engage with the Council's representatives to settle the remaining period.

10. Can I refuse this offer and what happens if I do?
The offer Is considered a reasonable settlement of your claim and is being recommended by all off the claimants' representatives.
The offer is made on the basis that the claimants' representatives will stop representing those who refuse to accept our recommendation.
It would then be open to you to continue with your claim in the Employment Tribunal at your own risk and expense.

11. Are male claimants Included?
Men in female dominated roles and men who held roles that can rely on female dominated roles are included. Men In roles that are part of the male dominated comparator roles will not be included as their claims did not have a reasonable chance of success. Action 4 Equality will be writing out soon to claimants who are not included with a detailed explanation.