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  • FIRST POST
    • Vwskygirl
    • By Vwskygirl 12th Mar 17, 12:54 AM
    • 3Posts
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    Vwskygirl
    Don't want to give up , but......
    • #1
    • 12th Mar 17, 12:54 AM
    Don't want to give up , but...... 12th Mar 17 at 12:54 AM
    Hi all , ive started a claim for equal pay against an ex employer, originally I had a "no win no fee" solicitor and I use the term loosely as their costs were getting too much ( disbursements I'm told) so now I'm on my own but I'm worried that if i lose ill get costs awarded against me as ex employers are v aggressive ! I've looked everywhere for free help or advice as I don't want to give up but need to keep costs down. The part I need help with at the moment is I have to prepare written submissions against their defence ..... I know what my arguments are but not sure about how to phrase them and does it matter if it's not in legal "speak" ?
    Any advice appreciated of experience of representing yourself at tribunal thanks
    Last edited by Vwskygirl; 12-03-2017 at 3:16 AM.
Page 1
    • Takeaway_Addict
    • By Takeaway_Addict 12th Mar 17, 9:58 AM
    • 5,631 Posts
    • 6,428 Thanks
    Takeaway_Addict
    • #2
    • 12th Mar 17, 9:58 AM
    • #2
    • 12th Mar 17, 9:58 AM
    Hi all , ive started a claim for equal pay against an ex employer, originally I had a "no win no fee" solicitor and I use the term loosely as their costs were getting too much ( disbursements I'm told) so now I'm on my own but I'm worried that if i lose ill get costs awarded against me as ex employers are v aggressive ! I've looked everywhere for free help or advice as I don't want to give up but need to keep costs down. The part I need help with at the moment is I have to prepare written submissions against their defence ..... I know what my arguments are but not sure about how to phrase them and does it matter if it's not in legal "speak" ?
    Any advice appreciated of experience of representing yourself at tribunal thanks
    Originally posted by Vwskygirl
    Ask the question...is it worth it?

    Sometimes it is better to act like a business and determine whether or not the stress and hassle over the period of time doing this tribunal is worth it. You may win and get some money or you could just move on with life, are you working with a new employer now?
    Don't trust a forum for advice. Get proper paid advice. Any advice given should always be checked
    • xapprenticex
    • By xapprenticex 12th Mar 17, 10:16 AM
    • 1,270 Posts
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    xapprenticex
    • #3
    • 12th Mar 17, 10:16 AM
    • #3
    • 12th Mar 17, 10:16 AM
    ^ I think she is saying, she is not so worried about winning money, more worried about losing and having to pay ex employers expenses.
    • Tarambor
    • By Tarambor 12th Mar 17, 4:31 PM
    • 1,546 Posts
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    Tarambor
    • #4
    • 12th Mar 17, 4:31 PM
    • #4
    • 12th Mar 17, 4:31 PM
    On what basis are you making the claim? There is no legal right to the same pay as someone else in the same role other than when the difference is based on an "ism". It is perfectly legal to have two people doing the same job side by side and both be on different rates of pay.
    • steampowered
    • By steampowered 12th Mar 17, 5:56 PM
    • 1,889 Posts
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    steampowered
    • #5
    • 12th Mar 17, 5:56 PM
    • #5
    • 12th Mar 17, 5:56 PM
    I'm afraid the description you have given is not sufficiently detailed for anyone to offer sensible advice. If you want to get sensible input you are going to need to give us a lot more detail as to what has happened in your case so far. The details matter in Tribunal proceedings.

    I am confused as to why a solicitor on a NWNF contract would suddenly stop representing you. This is highly unusual so I think needs explanation.

    You don't prepare "written submissions against their defence". Your submission was the ET1, and their response was the ET3. What typically comes next is a witness statement.

    A witness statement is usually where you set out exactly what happened in detail, not a document in which you make legal arguments.

    However, if you are willing to drop the case, you should write a letter to your employer headed 'without prejudice save as to costs' in which you say that you will be willing to withdraw the proceedings on the basis that each party bears all of their own costs, and ask the employer to confirm whether that offer is accepted.

    If you want to withdraw the case it sounds like you should do this ASAP before the employer's costs start escalating, which they will do once the employer's legal representatives have to start preparing witness statements.
    • Vwskygirl
    • By Vwskygirl 12th Mar 17, 11:22 PM
    • 3 Posts
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    Vwskygirl
    • #6
    • 12th Mar 17, 11:22 PM
    • #6
    • 12th Mar 17, 11:22 PM
    Yes I am working for diff employer now and v v happy there but I'm part way through the case now so I'm sure there will be cost implications as I doubt they would accept such an offer !
    It's a v complicated case , started out as harassment as well as equal pay and unfair dismissal , I was harassed and bullied by a colleague over many years , company knew did nothing despite grievances being raised and won they took no action at all. As for the NWNF solicitor they took on case incl harassment from the word go but never gave any advice regarding completing ET1 , left me to do it and I didn't put the harassment in as a correct "head of claim" so the harassment fell away, originally NWNF solicitor was talking 6 fig settlement but after harassment fell away they lost interest , respondents filed for wasted costs which judge granted of £1000 , solicitor told court they'd only been representing me since two days before the hearing which wasn't true ( and I can prove) so the order was against me , on top of that I have paid over £800 in "disbursements" and when I complained to solicitor about the wasted costs being against me not them they dropped me ! I have come too far to give up now and it's been going on for almost a year ! The remaining heads of claim are equal pay under the equality act and unfair dismissal as I believe redundancy was a sham after raising my grievances one of which resulted in my manager being sent for training he then went on to lie on an appraisal used in redundancy selection.
    There have been two preliminary hearings so far , the last one ordered the "R's" to file written submissions for their "material factor defence" and I have to file my written submissions arguing against their material factor defence this is the bit I could use some help with the formatting of .....
    Next hearing is to decide if there needs to be an independent expert to look at jobs descriptions even though their identical , and there is an "ism" involved _ sexism - comparator is male , not as qualified as me yet was paid way more
    Last edited by Vwskygirl; 13-03-2017 at 12:53 AM.
    • steampowered
    • By steampowered 13th Mar 17, 12:40 PM
    • 1,889 Posts
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    steampowered
    • #7
    • 13th Mar 17, 12:40 PM
    • #7
    • 13th Mar 17, 12:40 PM
    Yes I am working for diff employer now and v v happy there but I'm part way through the case now so I'm sure there will be cost implications as I doubt they would accept such an offer !
    Originally posted by Vwskygirl
    Employers can't usually recover any legal costs in the Employment Tribunal, although they can if the claim had no reasonable prospect of success or if the claimant acted unreasonably. So most employers would bite your hand off at a "drop hands" offer.

    If you don't want to do a "drop hands" offer, then consider offering to settle the case for a reasonable amount (which is likely to be a fraction of the amount you are claiming).

    It's a v complicated case , started out as harassment as well as equal pay and unfair dismissal , I was harassed and bullied by a colleague over many years , company knew did nothing despite grievances being raised and won they took no action at all. As for the NWNF solicitor they took on case incl harassment from the word go but never gave any advice regarding completing ET1 , left me to do it
    This is highly unusual and very concerning that your solicitor would act in this way. Drafting the ET1 is a fundamental part of bringing an Employment Tribunal claim and the solicitor would normally do this. Was it a genuine solicitor you used or a claims management company?

    and I didn't put the harassment in as a correct "head of claim" so the harassment fell away, originally NWNF solicitor was talking 6 fig settlement but after harassment fell away they lost interest , respondents filed for wasted costs which judge granted of £1000 , solicitor told court they'd only been representing me since two days before the hearing which wasn't true ( and I can prove) so the order was against me , on top of that I have paid over £800 in "disbursements" and when I complained to solicitor about the wasted costs being against me not them they dropped me !
    It is unbelievable that your representative was talking 6 figure settlement for a harassment claim (unless the case was truly extraordinary). Can you name and shame the company involved, as it sounds like something has gone very badly wrong and you may have grounds to make a Legal Ombudsman or SRA complaint (if the firm is regulated).

    I don't understand your point on costs. Do you mean that the solicitor paid the £800 costs order for you?

    I have come too far to give up now and it's been going on for almost a year ! The remaining heads of claim are equal pay under the equality act and unfair dismissal as I believe redundancy was a sham after raising my grievances one of which resulted in my manager being sent for training he then went on to lie on an appraisal used in redundancy selection.
    There have been two preliminary hearings so far , the last one ordered the "R's" to file written submissions for their "material factor defence" and I have to file my written submissions arguing against their material factor defence this is the bit I could use some help with the formatting of .....
    Next hearing is to decide if there needs to be an independent expert to look at jobs descriptions even though their identical , and there is an "ism" involved _ sexism - comparator is male , not as qualified as me yet was paid way more
    With respect, it sounds to me like this could turn into a complete mess. I think you need a proper solicitor to sort this out and help you.

    If this is not an option, then I think you need to be making settlement offers.

    In the meantime, I would suggest finding a template "Particulars of Complaint" which accompanies an ET1, and use that to give you an idea of the formatting required for your submissions on the "material factor" defence. I don't have enough information about the case to suggest what should actually go in those submissions.
    • Guest101
    • By Guest101 13th Mar 17, 12:55 PM
    • 15,128 Posts
    • 14,763 Thanks
    Guest101
    • #8
    • 13th Mar 17, 12:55 PM
    • #8
    • 13th Mar 17, 12:55 PM
    Yes I am working for diff employer now and v v happy there but I'm part way through the case now so I'm sure there will be cost implications as I doubt they would accept such an offer !
    It's a v complicated case , started out as harassment as well as equal pay and unfair dismissal , I was harassed and bullied by a colleague over many years , company knew did nothing despite grievances being raised and won they took no action at all. As for the NWNF solicitor they took on case incl harassment from the word go but never gave any advice regarding completing ET1 , left me to do it and I didn't put the harassment in as a correct "head of claim" so the harassment fell away, originally NWNF solicitor was talking 6 fig settlement but after harassment fell away they lost interest , respondents filed for wasted costs which judge granted of £1000 , solicitor told court they'd only been representing me since two days before the hearing which wasn't true ( and I can prove) so the order was against me , on top of that I have paid over £800 in "disbursements" and when I complained to solicitor about the wasted costs being against me not them they dropped me ! I have come too far to give up now and it's been going on for almost a year ! The remaining heads of claim are equal pay under the equality act and unfair dismissal as I believe redundancy was a sham after raising my grievances one of which resulted in my manager being sent for training he then went on to lie on an appraisal used in redundancy selection.
    There have been two preliminary hearings so far , the last one ordered the "R's" to file written submissions for their "material factor defence" and I have to file my written submissions arguing against their material factor defence this is the bit I could use some help with the formatting of .....
    Next hearing is to decide if there needs to be an independent expert to look at jobs descriptions even though their identical , and there is an "ism" involved _ sexism - comparator is male , not as qualified as me yet was paid way more
    Originally posted by Vwskygirl


    It makes not a jot of difference if he was male, less qualified and paid more.


    The ONLY factor is if you were paid less for being a woman. Typically businesses aren't in the habit of paying more for something they can get cheaper, so why would they hire him and pay more, if they could hire a second 'you' and pay less?


    Have you considered he might have just negotiated for more money?
    • lincroft1710
    • By lincroft1710 13th Mar 17, 4:33 PM
    • 9,898 Posts
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    lincroft1710
    • #9
    • 13th Mar 17, 4:33 PM
    • #9
    • 13th Mar 17, 4:33 PM
    I think I would give up now if I were you.

    As Guest101 says why would the company hire someone and pay them more if they didn't have to. Although (according to you) less qualified he may have brought other skills to the job and able to negotiate a better pay deal. Perhaps he even demonstrated he was better at the job than you were.

    It is no use "believing" your redundancy was a sham, you have to have irrefutable evidence.

    It has already cost you £1,800 plus the cost to bring the case to court, how much are you expecting to be awarded, if you win?
    • Tarambor
    • By Tarambor 13th Mar 17, 9:01 PM
    • 1,546 Posts
    • 1,063 Thanks
    Tarambor
    and there is an "ism" involved _ sexism - comparator is male , not as qualified as me yet was paid way more
    Originally posted by Vwskygirl
    That doesn't mean sexism was involved. There are countless examples all over the world where people less qualified than others get paid way more and usually its because they've got far more real world experience of the job or they've done a better job of selling themselves at interview.
    • steampowered
    • By steampowered 13th Mar 17, 9:36 PM
    • 1,889 Posts
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    steampowered
    It is no use "believing" your redundancy was a sham, you have to have irrefutable evidence.
    Originally posted by lincroft1710
    This is not technically correct. In unfair dismissal claims, the burden of proof on the employer to prove the reason for the dismissal. Not on the employee.

    The employee doesn't need irrefutable evidence - the employee simply needs enough to convince the Tribunal that, on a balance of probabilities, the reason for dismissal was not a genuine redundancy situation. This is largely assessed on whether or not the employer can justify the reason for the redundancy.

    Where a dismissal was dressed up as a redundancy, it is surprisingly easy to make an unfair dismissal claim. See for example http://www.phillips-law.co.uk/news-detail/latest-news-detail/sham-redundancies-know-your-rights/news-archive which explains the issue.
    • Vwskygirl
    • By Vwskygirl 14th Mar 17, 12:41 AM
    • 3 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Vwskygirl
    Thank you steamed powered for your very sound advice , I appreciate there's not enough detail there to be specific with advise but I'm reluctant to post on a public forum anything that could identify me , tad paranoid maybe but you never know whose reading these things .
    I don't believe they would be open to any settlement offer, under the ACAS scheme of early conciliation they offered a few hundred pound and said no to judicial mediation too! I have seen their Material factor defence and quite frankly I can pull it to pieces along with evidence I just feel a bit of a David next to their goliath when it comes to legal terms etc
    I was led to believe rightly or wrongly that if I can refute their defence for the pay difference then it only leaves one possibility , that being my gender!
    As far as the NWNF is concerned it was a solicitors firm and I do intend to follow up on that by way of complaint/legal ombudsmen etc
    • Gavin83
    • By Gavin83 14th Mar 17, 11:41 AM
    • 4,671 Posts
    • 7,436 Thanks
    Gavin83
    Well it's difficult to say how solid your case is based on the information you've provided. You clearly feel you have a solid case so good luck with it all. Personally in your position I'd be offering them a reasonable settlement figure and see what they say.

    How long did you work there?
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