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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
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I think my union Unite did not lodge my equal pay claim in

Resolved Question:

I think my union Unite did not lodge my equal pay claim in 2006. The local council are now settling claims and I will receive nothing, while my colleague s are getting settlements of £11000. What can I do about this? Your advice would be greatly appreciated.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello, do you know why they did not submit the claim at the time?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
We filled them in and never heard anything from Unite again. The unison members were getting regular updates. Every time they received letters from their solicitors, we would try and get in touch with Unite in Edinburgh. My colleague got hold of them through out the last 8 years and she was told there was nothing to worry about. When it was announced Fife council were settling the claims, we got back in touch with the man who helped us fill the forms in. He told us he had nothing to do with the claim forms. He had passed them on to the Edinburgh office at the time. We have heard that a man in Edinburgh did not submit the forms. They have given us other forms to fill in. We think these are for a third phase of claims
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have spoken to Thomson's solicitors and they do not have any record of my claim. This is why I do not think my claim has been lodged.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
The issue you will face here is that even if the union was guilty of professional negligence by failing to deal with your claim on time, you may now be out of time to make a negligence claim against them. This is because there is something known as ‘prescription’ which means that there is a set time limit within which a claim must be made, before it becomes too late and you are out of time to pursue it further. The time limit is 5 years which means that if you wanted to sue the union for negligence, you should have done so within 5 years of the negligent event taking place. If this occurred back in 2006 then you are clearly out of time to make a claim for their actions. So whilst it is of course wrong that they did not do as required, you would be out of time to make a claim against them. That does not mean that you cannot still make a claim for equal pay against the employer, as long as you are still within time to do so. The time limits there are:
• You can make the claim if you are still working for them
• If you are no longer working for them the time limit is 6 months from the end of the employment if you were claiming in the employment tribunal or 6 years if you were claiming in the civil courts.
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