The government announced a consultation paper today (yes, another one!) on methods to speed up equal pay claims.
The procedural proposals include:
• shortening the rules on how tribunals deal with equal pay cases;
• helping tribunals decide cases more quickly by using an independent 'assessor' and preventing the parties from calling experts;
• simplifying claims procedures where a group of women have essentially the same case;
• introducing a questionnaire procedure (comment: many might think this academic, since equal pay claims are usually 'twinned' with sex discrimination claims, when questionnaires can be issued)
• extending the time within which a claim has to be brought to six months after the end of employment
The substantive proposals include:
• replacing the 2-year time limit on back pay with a 6-year time limit
• introducing the EC Burden of Proof Directive to equal pay claims
There is a very clear website set up for the consultations, which enable responses to be sent whilst on-line. The address is http://www.dfee.gov.uk/consultations/equalpay . Responses are sought by 19th February 2001.