Do you know that in the UK it’s legal for employers to pay some people to do work, but not others? Confused? After 2 years of being paid less than her colleagues for doing the same work; my mum, Pauline Stevenson, discovered that she wasn’t protected by the law. There is loophole that represents a problem for employees in the UK and means employers can pay some staff for work, but expect others to do the same work for free.
I am seeking funding so my mum can
Create a lasting free information resource available for everyone to view in the form of a blog that will help other people representing themselves at an Employment Tribunal
Raise awareness of the loophole that applies to fixed term employees
Provide a platform that could initiate a change in the law.
Please help her help you and other employees. A more detailed description is given at the end.
Why the Need to Raise Funds?
There is lots of legal advice available, but it can be difficult to interpret by ordinary people. Mum’s blog will complement the legal advice to provide practical hints and tips from the point of view of a normal person trying to get justice at a Tribunal. She can explain what it’s really like, what it all means and how to overcome some of the difficulties you face in a way only someone who has been through it can. There’s nothing out there like it.
But going to a Tribunal was extremely expensive; representing herself ate up an enormous amount of time and the effort needed to keep going sapped all her energy. In the end my mum lost her case and her job and that was a major financial nightmare. The funds raised will give her financial support whilst she creates the resource.
The judge, clearly, believed in her ability; at the end of my mum’s Employment Tribunal he made the point of saying to her “you represented your case very well” and “a career in the law beckons”. She won’t let her supporters down.
If you can’t donate yourself, you can help by passing it on to others, comment, like, share, talk about it.
My mum was hired as a temporary part-time lecturer at a college in Scotland; she got a contract for a fixed term hourly paid member of staff, but the significance of this was never explained. She worked in the same way as her colleagues, but 12 months into her contract she discovered that, although she was paid the same rate of pay as colleagues for the time lecturing in class, she was paid nothing for anything that she did outside class, things like preparing lectures, creating course materials, marking assessments, marking reports, writing references, student liaison, admin etc. Yet her permanent colleagues were being paid for this work. This meant that overall she was paid considerably less than colleagues doing the same work. ACAS and the Citizen’s Advice Bureau advised her that there was legislation to protect employees, so she approached the HR department, but didn’t get a positive response. It took almost 12 months to go through the college’s internal complaints procedures, without success; then her contract wasn’t renewed. She took her case to an Employment Tribunal and, for financial reasons, had to represent herself. Following an extremely harrowing 4 day Tribunal, it took an agonising 18 weeks and 5 days wait to get the judgment and she was crushed to discover that in spite of the judge accepting that my mum did ‘broadly similar work’ to her permanent colleagues, there was a legal loophole that meant her case was dismissed.
My mum had worked tirelessly for her students, she worked many, many hours for her employer for free, then she lost the job she loved and got nothing following the Tribunal. The way my mum was treated was horrendous and at the Tribunal I was so appalled, I was close to tears. Following the Tribunal she had to wait over 4 months to get a negative result that astonished everyone who knew of my mum’s situation; it was torture for her. The stress was enormous.
Thank you for taking the time to read this and on behalf of my mum I would like to thank everyone in her family, friends and colleagues who have already helped her; your support has been immeasurable.
Here’s what my mum can do with the funds…
She will purchase a blog domain and set it up a free information resource available for everyone to view.
She will then post on topics like ‘Learn from my Mistakes’, ‘Tactics that can be used Against you when you have a Strong Case’, ‘How to Cope at Work During the Internal Complaints Procedure’, ‘How to Prepare your Claim’, ‘Getting the Paperwork Right’, ‘Meeting Deadlines’, ‘How to Prepare for the Preliminary Hearing’, ‘How to Prepare for the Tribunal’, ‘How you can be Treated during the Tribunal’, ‘The True Cost of a Tribunal’ and more.
Her blog will provide practical hints and tips and will ultimately form a manual for people representing themselves at an Employment Tribunal that will complement the sites that have been written by solicitors.
Threaded through the blog, the treatment of fixed term employees will be highlighted and the loophole in the law that employers can use will be exposed.