HUNDREDS of low paid women council workers – including carers, cooks, cleaners and school crossing patrols – are in line for compensation payments totalling millions of pounds after an equal pay case.
Unison has said a claim for equal pay on behalf of 900 women at Bury Council in Greater Manchester had been upheld by the Employment Appeal Tribunal and estimated that some workers were now set to receive the equivalent of up to four years’ back pay. The union said the decision confirmed that more than 900 mainly low paid women, such as carers, catering assistants, cooks, cleaners, domestic assistants, school crossing patrol attendants and home carers, are entitled to compensation for the years they were paid less than male council workers doing comparable jobs.
Steve Stott from Unison said: “We are satisfied this judgement now paves the way for the council to pay all those affected staff the money they are legally entitled to.
“We will now be pushing the council to apply for funds which will allow them to spread the cost of the equal pay settlements over a longer period.
“Better managed councils resolved most of their past equal pay problems long before the present crisis.”
Meanwhile, just one in 10 people now wears a suit to work with a more relaxed dress code seen to be good for staff morale and productivity, according to a new study.
A survey among 1,000 adults found that about one in three only wore formal clothes to work when they had to attend a meeting.
Online bank first direct said research found there had been a significant shift from the ‘suited and booted’ stereotype of a British worker with two out of five wearing jeans at least once a week and only one in five regularly wearing a tie.
Two out of three of those questioned said they believed dressing informally for work will become increasingly acceptable.
Brightly-coloured nails, quirky hairstyles and even displaying tattoos were said to be part of the new attitude to Britain’s workplace uniform.
Paul Say, first direct’s head of marketing, said: “The research shows that in terms of their appearance, British employees are becoming ever more liberated.
“A third of workers say a casual dress code would boost productivity and nearly two thirds feel it would ultimately make them happier.
“Although formal attire is appropriate in some industries, perhaps it’s time to start encouraging self-expression and colour within the workplace.”