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Jenny
Jenny, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 6305
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor specialising in Employment Law and general legal matters. Please start your question For Jenny Only
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My 23 year old son has a job working in a Santander agency.

Customer Question

My 23 year old son has a job working in a Santander agency. His employers are not Santander. These agencies run on a commission basis. There is a manager (female) and two other members of staff (both also female). Both these two females and two former members of staff (also females) were acquaintances of the manager who offered them jobs. I was told by one of the employers that they needed another employee and he asked if my son wanted to be interviewed for the job. He was interviewed and given the job. All the workers there have to train. My son works variable hours each week, ranging from 17.25 to 37, but averages 26 hours a week. There are two matters: (1) They pay his holiday pay based on a 17.25 hour week. (2) All the female staff, all introduced by the manager, are paid £1 an hour more than my son for doing exactly the same job. It was pointed out to the employer at the beginning of last October that they were paying him incorrectly for holidays (as you know, his pay should be based on the average hours he worked in the previous 12 weeks). He was ignored and they continued paying him incorrectly. He bought the matter to the attention of other director of the company he works for in December and he also raised the matter of being paid a lesser rate than his female counterparts. That director also said he would look into the matter. Having not heard anything further regarding these two concerns, my son sent an email to one of the directors a few week's ago, asking for confirmation that the manager had now been instructed to work out his holiday hours correctly and also asked what the position was regarding him being paid less. The director asked him to meet him in a pub. When they met, the director told him he "didn't know anything about employment law" but would look into my son's concerns. He said he'd come back to him within 10 days. I should mention that I work for one of the directors and know the other director too. They are exceptionally devious and mean. My question is, does my son have to carry on with the firm's grievance procedure as it appears to me that the two directors are not taking his concerns seriously and have no intention of doing so. Can my son go direct to an employment specialist and take them to a tribunal?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jenny replied 3 years ago.
Hello and welcome to Just Answer,

Before lodging a claim in the tribunal your son would be well advised to follow their formal grievance procedures. He could find that he is critised by the employment Judge if he fails to do so.

If this gets him no where then he should raise a claim at the employment tribunal of sex discrimination and of unlawful deduction from wages (in respect of holiday pay) and breach of the Working Time Regulations.

On the basis of what you say the holiday pay claim would be sucessful. The sex discrimination claim (equal pay) claim would win if the employer could not distinguish the reasons for paying your son less than the women on non gender based grounds.

He can contact an employment lawyer at any point who would be happy to assist him. You should note that legal fees cannot be recovered though so he may want to see how he gets on with the grievanc efirst.

Please remember to give positive feedback. I will be happy to answer your follow on questions.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I know that they are thinking of way to get out of the sexual discrimination as they are going to say that he "isn't as valued" as the other staff. Considering they all started off training, yet the females were started off training at a higher rate than him, surely this doesn't make any sense. Obviously they can say they don't value him as much as his colleagues (although they'd always said he was well-regarded and an asset to the company before he raised the issue of him being paid less), but how could they possibly say this before he'd even started training...? The grievance procedure states that he should complain (which he's done), then he should be offered a meeting (which he was offered in December, but he was also told the matter would be looked into so he didn't feel a meeting was necessary as it is such a straightforward matter, so he declined on the proviso the matter would be sorted). He attended the 'meeting' in the pub last week where he was informed that they'd done nothing. Supposing they don't come back to him? Or they come back with a load of nonsense? They do note that he can appeal if he's not happy with their answers but given that it is them he is complaining about and them who conduct the meetings and them that listen to the appeal, how is this fair? When would a judge find it acceptable for him to opt out of their grievance procedure?

Expert:  Jenny replied 3 years ago.
I would suggest that if he appeals against the outcome and they fail to respond positively that would be the time to lodge a claim.

I would also suggest that he ask them to demonstrate why the females are valued more. They should be able to demonstrate something tangible such as higher qualifications or more experience in a similar or the same job.

Please remember to give positive feedback. I will be happy to answer your follow on questions.
Jenny, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 6305
Experience: Qualified Solicitor specialising in Employment Law and general legal matters. Please start your question For Jenny Only
Jenny and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

So once he's exhausted their grievance procedure, he can go to a tribunal without the help of an employment specialist? How does he do this?

Expert:  Jenny replied 3 years ago.
He can lodge a claim at www.employmenttribunals.gov.uk

All the best to him. Please ask for me using my name in the title if you need any further help with this at any point in the future.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks very much for your help. It was most useful.

Expert:  Jenny replied 3 years ago.
No problem, all the best.

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