Saturday, 2 February 2019

Questions and Answers

I get lots of emails from readers asking to explain things in relation to equal pay - far too many for me to respond to on an individual basis.

But that's what my blog site is for - sharing information which can reach thousands of claimants at the same time, at the press of a button.

And here's a good example from Twitter.

If they don’t know how much they should currently be paying the women in wages, how can they know how much they are owed?


Mark Irvine - Mark Irvine‏ @Mark1957

Settlement offers to claimants will be based on the existing WPBR pay differences between male and female dominated jobs - the new job evaluation scheme (JES) will be free of any gender bias and will replace the WPBR with new non-discriminatory pay arrangements, possibly in 2021.

The new JES, by the way, is the Scottish Joint Council scheme which was recommended for use by COSLA and the national trade unions as far back as 1999.  


Questions and Answers (31/01/19)

I said I would provide a more detailed explanation on this business of calculating the length of an equal pay claim.

1) The settlement period starts from January 2007 because this is the year when the WPBR was originally introduced - so no one can go back beyond January 2007.

2) The end date of the settlement period has still to be agreed with Glasgow City Council, but this will be somewhere between 31 March 2017 to 31 March 2018.

3) Claims already registered in January 2007 continued to 'add on' time going forward until the agreed settlement date,  so long as the claimants remained employed with Glasgow City Council.

4) If a claimant left the Council's before the agreed settlement date, their claim goes up to the last day of their employment with GCC.

5) If a claim was registered after January 2007, the claim can jump back in time for a maximum of 5 years - assuming the claimant had 5 years service at the time.

6) For example, a claim registered in January 2012 would jump back to January 2007 - and would also start to 'add on' time going forward from January 2012 up to the agreed settlement date.

7) Any claims registered later than January 2012 cannot go all the way back to the beginning because the '5 year rule' is laid down by Scots law and applies to all Glasgow equal pay cases. 

8) The period beyond the settlement date has still to be resolved in future discussions with Glasgow City Council since the WPBR is still in operation in 2019 and will not be replaced for some time, possibly in 2021.

9) Let's assume the WPBR is replaced on 31 March 2021 and that the current settlement date goes up to 31 March 2018 - this leaves a 3 year 'gap' period period which is not covered by the current settlement agreement and may result in GCC employees pursuing additional equal pay claims in 2021.

I hope this makes sense, but I'm happy to give it another crack if anything is less than clear.

The key points are that the equal pay 'clock' only starts ticking once a claim has actually been registered and the maximum period of any claim is 12 years - assuming a settlement date of 31 March 2018.


Questions and Answers (30/01/19)

I received a nice email from a regular reader of the blog who as well as passing on some kind words, asked the following follow-up question. 
Hi Mark 

I would like to say a great big thank you for every thing you have done in the fight for equal pay for the women of Glasgow 

I would also like to say thank you for keeping us up to date via your blog it's been truly helpful and informative and on that subject 

Could l please ask you could you explain the answer to question 2 (iv) how many years are claims going back ?

I don't really understand that answer

Thank you again


I'll do my best to explain this in more detail tomorrow.


Glasgow - Questions & Answers (29/01/19)

Here's the first set of Question and Answers on the Glasgow City Council equal pay settlement.

Equal Pay Update – 2019


1When 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 weeksso offers are unlikely to be Issued
before June 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,
ivSubject to a maximum 5 years back from the date of your claim(s)

3How 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 legaadvice explaining the offer. The settlement ibased 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 nouse Individual comparators as ii was too difficult to Identify an appropriate comparatorInstead 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 lax and national insurance.

6What will my tax liability be?

• The lax 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 compensationyour 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 claimantsrepresentatives 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.

11Are male claimants Included?

• Men in female dominated roles and men who held roles that can rely on female dominated roles are includedMen 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 successMorton Fraser will be writing out soon to claimants who are not included with a detailed explanation.

Unison has kindly done the work involved in putting this document together after consulting with the other Claimant organisations - so thanks to Unison for their efforts on this occasion.

Now one question often leads to another in my experience so I imagine there will be more Question and Answer documents issued as the settlement process unfolds.

If readers have any suggestions to make, send these to me or to your own representative organisation