ABERDEENSHIRE COUNCIL SINGLE STATUS
Equal Pay Claims
Time to get equal
UNISON believes there are employees of Aberdeenshire Council
that may be entitled to compensation in respect of equal pay.
During 2006 Aberdeenshire Council made compensation offers to many
mainly low paid female employees. This was because it was believed
they had not been paid equally to male workers in the Council who
did jobs of equal value. Many people who received the compensation
then signed for the money and at the same time, signed away their
rights to make any further equal pay claim up to 31 December 2006.
UNISON believes there could be other groups of workers in
many other jobs that could claim compensation in respect of equal
pay. These claims would be based on the new grades given to their
job as a result of single status.
Many people have found their jobs have been upgraded as a result
of the single status process which may give an indication that in
the past their job was undervalued. UNISON does not have the information
to identify each and every potential claim. However, each employee
will be entitled to request information from the Council about their
job - this information could help you decide if you have an equal
What is equal pay?
Equal pay is an issue when groups of male workers and groups of
female workers may do different jobs but those jobs have been evaluated
the same - but the male and female workers have been paid differently.
Here's an example (a bit ridiculous but it will give you an idea)
Bobby McDonald's Circus employs 10 strongmen and 12 bearded ladies
- both acts are big hits with the audience. The strongmen were paid
£20,000 a year and the bearded ladies were paid £15,000 a year.
The Circus has just done a job evaluation exercise on all the acts
and in the evaluation the strongmen's jobs scored 300 points and
the bearded ladies' jobs scored 302 points.
What does this mean? It means that in the new pay
system their jobs are valued the same and the strongmen and bearded
ladies should be paid the same. The Circus has decided that the
strongmen will stay on £20,000 and the bearded ladies will also
now be paid £20,000.
The law says if you can show unequal pay between groups of
male and female employees doing work of equal value then there is
an equal pay claim and the difference in pay over the previous 5
years can be claimed.
So - the bearded ladies can claim £5,000 for each year before the
new evaluation for up to 5 years which would give them a potential
pay out of £25,000!
Now, we know there's no strongmen or bearded ladies working for
Aberdeenshire (at least we don't think so) - and this is a very
simple example. In reality equal pay is a complex issue and if you
wish to find out more or think you may have a claim then get in
touch with the branch.
Remember, not all claims will be successful but UNISON will
guide you through the process and give you advice on your particular
For more information, email the branch office
or telephone 01224 620624.
Inez Teece, Assistant Secretary
here for further information on equal pay