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About the link between bullying & equal pay How will I know if it applies to me? What can I do now? Support Resources Members Only
 

What Do I Do Now?

Once you are convinced that you have a case, the next step is proceeding to a tribunal. This section covers:

Equal Pay Questionnaire Letter of Claim

Time Limits What Can Be Claimed

Costs Types of claim

Equal Pay Questionnaire

If you have not served an Equal Pay Questionnaire yet, it is advisable that you do so now. You can ask many detailed questions and can use the EPQ to request any documentation or answer any questions that you believe will be needed to prove your case or disprove the defence - both side of the argument must be considered in advance, otherwise you may be in for some surprise moves. If your employer fails to answer any question or provide requested documentation, see Orders. If you fail to serve an EPQ on your employer you may not have all the info

More About the EPQ EPQ Download (Word format)

Letter of Claim

It is not essential to send a letter of claim to your employer, but it is another reasonable attempt to get them to settle before you start to incur costs. Even though your employer may appear to want to settle or tells you they will, this may be just another tactic to string you along so you miss the deadline, so do not miss the time limit to submit your IT1 - this is your responsibility and you will not get an extension if you tell the tribunal you did not apply because you thought your employer wanted to settle.

Time Limits

The time limit for applying for a tribunal is at anytime during your employment or within 6 months of leaving (less one day). The time limit relates to your effective termination date and is not affected by any sick leave. If you are now doing a different job to the one that you are complaining about but you still work for the same employer, the 6 months (less one day) still runs from the effective date of termination, not date you stopped doing the other job that is subject to your claim.

The time limit may be extended in specific circumstances, which include

-the employee is under a disability;
-if the employer deliberately conceals relevant facts to a claim;
-if the employee could not have reasonably discovered the facts during the employment.

More about time limits

What Can Be Claimed

The pay claim can cover the period of when you were not on equal pay, up to a maximum of 6 years from filing the IT1. It can be backdated for even longer in certain cases such as disability or the employer concealing facts. Your claim can include loss of pension rights, difference in holiday pay and bonuses etc. This will be covered in more detail in the schedule of loss.

More on backdating claims

Costs

An employee can take a claim to a tribunal by themselves, do all the paperwork and represent themselves, so as not to incur any costs. It is recommended that you have legal representation at the main hearing unless you have a firm grasp of the legal arguments required to argue your case. Generally, any costs incurred will not be recoverable by either side.

Costs are recoverable however, where 'a party has in bringing the proceedings, or a party's representative has in conducting the proceedings, acted vexatious, abusively, disruptively or otherwise unreasonably, or the bringing or conducting of proceedings has been misconceived'. Misconceived would mean that there is little chance of success, based on the available evidence. Because claims of 'equal value' are more complex, costs may be awarded if one side has unreasonably delayed the preparation of the independent expert's report.

Type of Complaint

To apply to the tribunal, you need to know what type of complaint you have - 'like work' or work of 'equal value'. Equal Pay for Like Work is if your job and that of your comparator are broadly similar in nature and the differences are not of practical importance to the terms and conditions of employment, even if they have different job titles.

Equal Pay for Work of Equal Value allows a claim to be made against very different jobs that may be paid under different grading systems, collective agreements of job evaluation schemes. A comparison using effort, skill and decision would be made by an expert, who would weight and balance the different features of the jobs. To claim under this, you would need to be able to estimate this in advance to ensure that the jobs were equal value.

So decide which type of claim you have - like work, equal value or a combination eg like work and/or equal value - and enter this in the type of complaint section. If you have any doubt about whether it is like work, it is worth claiming the combination and this point will be argued at the tribunal. If you claim like work only and the tribunal consider it to be equal value, you may lose your claim if you are then unable to resubmit a new claim under equal value due to time limitations. The EOC are very helpful and will be able to help you decide exactly what type of claim you should list. Their helpline number is 0845 601 5901.

Below this, always add that you are also complaining under Article 141 of the Treaty of Rome. This is in case part of your claim falls outside of the wording of the Equal Pay Act, you will still be able to claim under EU law.

More on 'like work' More on 'equal value' More on EU law

If you are proceeding to a tribunal and would like support, check out the Support page.

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