18 August 2009
'Hundreds' of council workers taking bosses to employment tribunals
Hundreds of employees at Lancashire county council are taking their bosses to employment tribunals over issues such as working conditions and equal pay.
The Lancashire Evening Post reported that in addition to the 483 employees seeking compensation for earnings dating back up to six years, some 222 additional staff members are currently in talks with the council in an effort to prevent their grievances from going to an official hearing.
It is thought that several of the claims were made by female members of staff who were not paid a bonus when comparable male workers were.
Some £26.4 million has already been set aside in a "fighting fund" by council bosses,, who have already paid out compensation of more than £16 million to a total of 9,038 staff over equal pay.
According to Lancashire county council's director of human resources, Carol Mills, setting up equal pay for a workforce of more than 25,000 is a "huge task".
"The way we have chosen to manage the review is to learn from the experience of smaller councils who have been through the process, take the time to get it right and try to avoid costly ongoing legal claims," she said.
Council bosses in Bury were recently ordered to compensate some 1,400 female employees who did not receive a productivity bonus when their male counterparts did.
The government group has appealed the employment tribunal ruling.
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