HM Courts & Tribunals Service has recently published it statistics regarding the claims brought in the Employment Tribunal. The statistics revealed that over the last 12 months, the most common claim received by the Tribunal was that of equal pay. This is most likely due to the new regulations on gender pay gap reporting.
Clapham and Collinge Solicitors have recently advised a client in relation to her claim against her employer for equal pay. After issuing her claim in the Tribunal (in addition to her claims for sex discrimination and unfair dismissal), we were able to secure our client a five-figure sum via judicial mediation in full and final settlement. This followed a year-long battle with the respondent, a large company based in Norwich ("the company").
Our client secured a new role at the company in September 2013. From the outset of her employment she was subjected to inappropriate sexual harassment from her male colleagues and was directly discriminated against because of her gender. She also found she was being significantly underpaid in comparison to her male counterparts. The client came to Clapham and Collinge to see if we could we help following the poor treatment she received during her employment, which ultimately lead to her unfair dismissal.
What did we do?
We met with our client to discuss her matter in detail in order to fully understand the issues and the advice she was seeking. We then set out our advice to her in a comprehensive and informative letter which included the next steps available to her and how we could be of assistance.
We sent a detailed letter to the company on our client's behalf, setting out her claims against them and requesting their engagement in early pre-action negotiation. We also began the ACAS (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) early conciliation process. In December 2017 we were informed that the company did not want to conciliate, so we discussed the options available to our client and advised that on the strength of her case, she should make a claim in the Employment Tribunal.
Over the following months we prepared the claim against the company and submitted this to the Tribunal. Thereafter we corresponded with the company's representative as the case proceeded to a preliminary hearing, which took place in the summer of 2018. During this time the company entered into settlement discussions with us which ultimately, we rejected as in our opinion, their offer did not reflect the value of our clients claims.
We advised our client that settlement may more likely be achieved by way of Judicial Meditation.We explained that in our experience, the assistance of an Employment Judge can prove invaluable in encouraging the parties to focus their minds on the strengths and weaknesses of their respective cases.We put forward this proposal to the company and they agreed to attend mediation.
Our client's evidence was documented and provided to the tribunal in advance of the mediation which, following a further preliminary hearing, was arranged in the Bury St Edmunds Employment Tribunal the following month.
We attended Judicial Mediation with our client accompanied by counsel.We achieved a five-figure sum in settlement of our client's case; a resounding success for our client.
This case was funded through a "damages-based arrangement" which meant our client had nothing to pay whilst the matter was ongoing and our fees were paid upon receipt of the settlement.
"Nicola, I just wanted to say the biggest of heartfelt thank-you's for your support and guidance over the past twelve months – you've been brilliant. I honestly didn't know what to expect when I embarked on this little journey and I'm still shocked by yesterday's outcome but very, very happy! Please pass on my thanks to Neil and Ben too."
"Rosa, thanks a million for your support over the last twelve months."
Clapham and Collinge can provide the means and the legal assistance to help you, should anything be amiss. Contact us today to discuss your individual requirements in further detail, our specialist Employment Lawyers will talk you through your options and advise on the next steps. Call 01603 693500 or email us using 'Make an enquiry' form. Appointments available at our Norwich, North Walsham and Sheringham offices.
*This article is provided for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or other professional advice.