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1,100 women launch equal pay dispute

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More than 1,100 Welsh female council workers are marching in unison towards an employment tribunal over claims they were paid less than their male colleagues.

Care staff and canteen workers are amongst those populating the list of scorned women and Welsh councils, including Conwy, Wrexham and Anglesey, are now facing equal pay claims totalling millions of pounds after failing to address staff concerns.

Flintshire council’s Chief Executive, Colin Everett, said the local authority was, on legal advice, defending itself against its equal pay claims, which currently total around 450. Whilst Gwynedd council said a vast majority of its cases had been dealt with but that some outstanding claims would go to the tribunal.

Individual claims range from several hundred pounds to around £10,000 for long-serving staff and some councils have stashed away back-up cash to deal with the claims, which could total more than £5m.

“These claims are being brought by women working in historically manual job roles, predominantly in the care sector,” the group’s solicitor told the Daily Post.

“Our clients believe that contrary to the Equal Pay Act 1970 they are not in receipt of equal pay and allege that they have been denied access to additional payments enjoyed by male employees.”

All 1,100 or so claims will be heard at the Cardiff Employment Tribunal in the coming months and those councils involved have pledged to keep costs to a minimum to alleviate any local fears of dwindling council budgets.

“We will be dealing with these claims in conjunction with the tribunal rules and directions. The councils will seek to keep costs to the minimum and ensure that all claims are dealt with fairly,” added a spokeswoman for Conwy County Borough Council.

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Written by Andrew Hodges

January 15, 2010 at 11:02 pm

Posted in Comment, LinkedIn

Tagged with , ,

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