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Online - Equal Pay

24 September 2024 09:30 - 13:00


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24 September 2024  |  From £150 + VAT

In recent months, we have seen various claims and challenges relating to equal pay in councils. It is an area under the spotlight and one in which the unions are especially active. In particular, we have seen challenges against councils who have implemented single status and job evaluation schemes, thinking they had taken adequate steps to mitigate equal risk liability in doing so.  However, it is clear that equal pay liability can persist even in these circumstances.

This course is designed to provide an understanding of equal pay law, the potential areas of challenge in terms of claims and liability and the practical steps that can be taken to mitigate the risks of equal pay claims arising in this context. 

The course will cover:

  • An outline of the legal position – an equal pay “refresher” to give a framework for the specific areas to be covered.

  • Job evaluation schemes (JES) – different types, their purpose and their role as a defence in equal pay claims.

  • What happens when it goes wrong - the recent challenges including Allan and others v Fife Council.

  • Areas of risk, auditing for potential liability and mitigation steps.

  • Tricky issues – recruitment and retention, market forces as a material factor defence to claims.

  • Cross employer comparisons in equal pay.

  • TUPE and equal pay – which trumps the other?

The course will help you to:

  • Feel confident about how equal pay operates in practice.

  • Understand whether there may be areas of risk within your council.

  • Consider whether there are any steps which could be taken to minimise risk of equal pay liabilities.

This course is suitable for all levels and is designed to equip delegates to support their councils in taking active steps to consider any equal pay risk areas and pro-actively address any issues uncovered, including appropriate systems and checks to regularly assess and mitigate future risk.

Sarah Lamont

Partner, Bevan Brittan 

Sarah is a specialist employment lawyer with over 25 years' experience in all aspects of contentious and non-contentious employment law. She has particular expertise in TUPE transfers, restructuring and redundancies, complex employment litigation, discrimination/equality issues and senior staff exits. Sarah acts for clients across a wide range of sectors including major corporate employers, housing associations, education bodies and charities and is the Firm’s lead on providing employment advice to local authorities. 

Sarah's general experience includes all areas of employment work and she has dealt with a number of high profile cases in Tribunals, the Employment Appeal Tribunal, the High Court and the Court of Appeal. She has specific expertise in advising on equal pay and discrimination, restructuring and redundancy programmes, negotiated exits, changing terms and conditions, and providing TUPE advice in connection with service delivery models including shared services, partnering arrangements, joint ventures and outsourcing. Sarah also provides support to in-house legal and HR teams, acting as a sounding board on both strategic and operational HR issues.

Anne Palmer

Legal Director, Bevan Brittan

Anne is a legal director in the Employment, Pensions and Immigration team and advises a broad range of organisations including local authorities, housing associations, universities, NHS trusts, regulators, charities, colleges of further education, schools and corporate entities.

She deals with all aspects of the employment relationship including contracts and service agreements; policies and procedures; recruitment; reorganisations and redundancies; disciplinary, performance and grievance matters; discrimination and handling employment tribunal cases. Anne undertakes investigations on behalf of clients into workplace disputes.

In particular, she regularly advises on employee transfer issues, including TUPE, secondment and shared employment arrangements, as well as drafting and negotiating employment documentation.  Anne is also involved in dispute resolution, dealing with the commercial terms on which the employment of senior employees is brought to an end.

Charlotte Rose

Senior Associate, Bevan Brittan

Charlotte is an experienced employment lawyer specialising in the public sector. In particular, she works with local authorities and Fire and Rescue Services advising them in relation to the whole range of employment issues. Charlotte frequently advises in relation to disciplinary and capability issues (including in relation to statutory officers), restructures and redundancies, trade union relations, equal pay, TUPE and employment disputes and litigation. She has a good deal of experience dealing with high profile issues concerning workplace culture and related issues. 

Charlotte is also an experienced investigator and undertake both complex employment related investigations and Code of Conduct investigations. She also more generally supports governance colleagues as appropriate in respect of employment related governance issues (for example, disciplinary procedures for Chief Executives/statutory officers).

Rachel Newman

Senior Associate, Bevan Brittan

Rachel is an employment and immigration specialist advising a range of clients including employment agencies, care providers, airlines and a range of manufacturers. She began her career representing claimants in a range of employment related claims before moving onto respondent work. She has worked with a wide range of clients including, but not limited to, employment agencies, care providers, airlines and a range of manufacturers.

Rachel's work has ranged from advice and support to in house legal and HR teams, managing the exits of senior employees, guidance on handling a disciplinary or grievance process, robustly defending employment tribunal claims and also providing strategic advice in relation to acquisitions and restructures and the employment related considerations. Her current practice covers both contentious and non-contentious matters.

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