Employment law specialist solicitors serving Dundee and Scotland
More than 1,400 women working in the Fife Council are to share a multi-million-pound payout after they were awarded a lump sum for underpayment.
The payout related to cases dating back to 2006 with Unison being involved in a case that highlighted historic discriminatory pay practices. The case, involving mainly lowly paid Unison members was at the final stage with solicitors negotiating the exact amount of compensation with those involved in the case expected to have news “in due course”.
Dougie Black, the Unison regional organiser for Fife local government, said: "This has been a long time coming. Many claims stretch back to 2006, and we can only thank Unison members for their hard work and patience.
"We will now discuss individual claims with the employer to ensure each claim is calculated properly. This a good day for low-paid women workers and Unison is proud to have been a part of it."
Suzanne Craig, Unison's legal officer, said: "Unison will be seeking early payment from the employers.
"Regrettably it took the threat of proceeding to an employment tribunal to focus the employer's minds to settle, but it is great news for everyone that we have agreed.
"This settlement also agrees on the legal principles for moving forward to ensure wherever possible that job evaluation and pay practices remain free from discrimination in the future."
The news regarding the Fife Council comes despite the Scottish Government working tirelessly to try and end female underemployment. Indeed, according to figures, the female employment rate in Scotland was at 71.1% second only to Sweden at 72.4%. The rate was four places above the rest of the UK.
Research shows that the gender pay gap is 19.1% and significantly higher in the UK than the vast majority of European countries. According to research from the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) despite making up 48% of the workplace many females are still underpaid in the UK especially over time as they rise through the ranks in the workplace and those who work part time. The pay gap is 6% for women aged 26 to 35, but 38% of women over the age of 60. Older women, therefore, face the dual discriminations of gender and age. While the gap has fallen significantly from the 27.5% seen in 1997, the gap still is still higher 3% than the EU average.
Many experts believe it is due to family commitments and working part time that results in lower wages for female, however, there is no reason that a female doing the same job as a male should be paid less. If you have been discriminated against in the workplace, or underpaid, you could be entitled to take legal action.
For legal advice and representation regarding underemployment or any other employment matter, contact our team of expert solicitors today using our online contact form.