As a recent Case Management Discussion the Employment Judge decided on a number of matters.
The premium pay claims relating to an unlawful deduction of wages would proceed to a Hearing.
Boots intends to argue that the majority of the 140 new Claimants should be treated differently than those successful in April 2012 on the basis that they did not bring legal proceedings or raise a grievance/objection to the change and therefore have waived their right to now complain about matters and seek payment of the deductions
The PDA Union will argue that there has not been a "waiver" by the Claimants and that everyone worked under sufferance irrespective of whether they brought legal proceedings, raised a grievance or not. A Hearing for these claims will take place in the New Year.
The discrimination claims on the basis of age and sex will be dealt with at a separate hearing.
Boots intends to argue that the claims do not have any merit, it took too long for claims to be made, the changes can be justified for a business reason and at the end of the day everyone has now accepted the changes so they cannot be that significant.
The PDA Union will be arguing that the claims have merit, they were made within time, there is not a good business rationale for the changes and staff have not been willing to accept the changes as Boots would have everyone believe.
Boots has now been ordered to disclose information regarding the impact of its decision to reduce premium pay on its employees together with statistics relating to gender and age. Boots had refused to provide statistical information to the PDA Union choosing to wait until the Employment Judge required them to do so.
We understand that a few Claimants have not signed the new SOPE and as a consequence have been dismissed from their employment. These individuals will lodge or have already lodged claims for unfair dismissal and these will be dealt with at a separate Hearing.
In summary, the only Claimants with cases concerning unlawful deductions from wages and discrimination are represented by PDA Union with the exception of one unrepresented Claimant. The USDAW represented Claimants did not bring additional claims and the BPA did not bring any claims on behalf of its members contrary to what might appear in their communications. Some members have reported that BPA have given them the impression that they are involved in proceedings however this is not the case. We will update members further in one months' time.