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EQUAL PAY CLAIMS - BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU SIGN
24 February 2006
To: All Members who received an Equal Pay Settlement
You may have been given an offer from the Council to
settle any equal pay claim you may have against them.
The Branch has now been given advice from UNISON's Scottish
Legal Officer (in full below) and our advice to members
is make sure you know all this before you think of signing:-
- Don't Sign away all your rights: The offer
you will get from the Council only relates to
the amount you may have been underpaid because you
couldn't get bonus. But on top of this you might
also be due more compensation because of your
grade or for other reasons. It looks like you will
be asked to give up all these rights to claim
compensation if you take up the Council's offer.
- Ask the adviser whether your are signing away
your rights: The Council will invite you to
a 'signing event'. The Council has arranged an independent
legal adviser. Ask this adviser of the document
you are being asked to sign means you give up
all claims or just a claim on bonus.
- Check what other rights you might be losing:
You should ask what other rights or claims you
might be signing away.
- If they say you have to sign away all your rights
- don't sign: If, as we suspect, the answer
is that you are signing away your rights to all claims,
then UNISON advice is don't sign. Seek
union advice on taking your claim to tribunal.
The full advice given by the legal officer is:-
"The Council will make an offer of compensation
to many staff and our advice to members on the merit
of that proposal is set out in correspondence and on
our website. However, in addition to that guidance we
offer the following advice to anyone considering such
an offer: do not sign away any equal pay rights other
than those relating to exclusion from the bonus scheme.
If the employer insists that workers sign away all their
rights then members should reject the proposal. UNISON
will advise on this issue and we will provide our normal
legal service to anyone with an equal pay claim".