Council to pay millions in equal pay settlement

A Yorkshire local authority is reportedly set to shell out £7m to settle an equal pay compensation claim.

Kirklees Council has all but agreed the multi-million pound deal in respect of 2,000 mostly female workers who were employed by the council over the past six years.

The employees, who could receive about £3,500 each, worked in roles such as cleaning, catering, and home care and other blue collar jobs, according to the Huddersfield Examiner.

The dispute arose after workers and unions realised that pay scales were slightly different in different council roles, with the roles that were traditionally female-orientated bearing the brunt of disparity.

Now, after months of wrangling, the council is just about ready to pay up, with reports suggesting the bill could be as much as £7m.

However, Cliff Stuart, Kirklees Council’s head of HR, said the figure of £7m was really an educated guess.

“We are still relatively unclear how much the total of the claim will be for,” he said.

“It is a very complex calculation. There are so many factors to be taken into consideration, such as if people changed jobs, the number of hours worked and also issues with tax credits and so on.”

Paul Holmes, branch secretary of the Kirklees branch of Unison, said: “We are pleased that the pay problem is changing, but we are sad that on a national level it has taken 30 years.”

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