Solicitors take on women's equal pay claims

A firm of solicitors from London is taking up the case of women who feel they have been unfairly overlooked when Pembrokeshire County Council settled equal pay claims last year.

Leigh Day & Co is meeting with clients and running free drop-in advice sessions on equal pay at the Cleddau Bridge Hotel, Pembroke Dock, today (Thursday) from 3pm to 7pm and tomorrow (Friday) from 1pm to 4pm.

In August 2012 the Western Telegraph reported that the council’s decision to meet equal pay claims had caused confusion for former workers who missed out on sharing the £3.5million settlement following a job evaluation review.

The payouts were limited to current employees and those who had left in the last six months.

Doreen Goldthorpe, a care worker from Neyland, was among those who raised concerns. She was angry to discover colleagues had received payouts but she and other female colleagues had not.

More than 70 women have since come forward claiming they too missed out.

Mrs Goldthorpe contacted solicitors Leigh Day & Co, who won a historic judgment in the Supreme Court against Birmingham City Council in October 2012 which ensured equal pay claims could be brought in civil courts as well as employment tribunals.

The judgment extends the time limit for claims from six months to six years.

Partner Chris Benson said: “Many women who worked for the council from 2007 onwards but did not receive compensation, may not know that they can now take an equal pay claim against Pembrokeshire County Council. We would urge these women to come forward.”

A Pembrokeshire County Council spokesman said: “In October 2012, the Supreme Court decided that in contrast to other employment related claims, the statutory limitation period for equal pay could be extended to six years via an application to the civil court.

This decision has been widely criticised by those wanting a sensible approach to Equal Pay Law.

“We are aware that Leigh Day & Co is currently advising potential claimants in Pembrokeshire, as well as other parts of the country. We will consider such claims at the appropriate time.

Leigh Day & Co can be contacted on 0207 650 1200.

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