Fawcett Society Equal Pay Advice Service in new partnership with Leigh Day solicitors
The Equal Pay Advice Service, set up thanks to former BBC China Editor Carrie Gracie, has joined forces with law firm Leigh Day in a bid to help more women achieve equality at work.
Posted on 16 February 2021
The service was established and is run by the Fawcett Society who have now partnered with Leigh Day to take the service forward.
Leigh Day has acted for thousands of public sector workers and secured compensation running into the millions of pounds for its clients. Currently, its dedicated equal pay department represents thousands of supermarket workers in the biggest private sector equal pay claims.
The Equal Pay Advice Service will offer 10 hours of free legal help to women earning less than £30,000 pa who need to address a personal equal pay issue in their workplace.
Leigh Day will help and support EPAS clients to challenge their employer’s pay practices outside of the tribunal process. Lawyers on the team will aim to help women achieve equal pay without having to take their case to court.
Leigh Day partner Paula Lee will work alongside Lara Kennedy, Jasmine Patel and Roshan Croker, employment lawyers with many years’ experience and success working on equal pay claims.
The service was set up in 2018 following Carrie Gracie’s high-profile equal pay challenge at the BBC.
After the national broadcaster was obliged to publish its salary structure, Carrie discovered that she was being paid significantly less than male colleagues with matching job remits.
She challenged the BBC to pay her the same as equivalent male journalists and eventually secured a settlement.
After experiencing just how hard it was to put the problem right against an employer determined to resist, Carrie was keen to help other women get expert legal advice to enforce their right to equal pay.
The Equal Pay Advice Service was her idea and she donated all of her settlement, more than £300,000, to the Fawcett Society to set it up.
As Leigh Day takes the project forward in partnership with the Fawcett Society, Carrie said:
“In 2021 it is as hard as ever for women to fight pay discrimination and I am thrilled that they have such powerful champions on their side. With Leigh Day joining Fawcett, the Equal Pay Advice Service is in the best possible hands.”
Felicia Willow, Chief Executive of the Fawcett Society, said:
“The Equal Pay Advice Service has so far been of huge benefit in helping to fight Equal Pay cases. Despite the Equal Pay Act being in place for 50 years, pay discrimination is still thriving. We look forward to working with Leigh Day who have significant expertise in this field, and in fighting to prevent pay discrimination.”
Leigh Day partner, Paula Lee, added:
“We are delighted to be partnering with Fawcett Society on this project to help women achieve equal pay in the workplace. We know that being paid less for doing equal work hurts and that it can knock you off balance. We are confident that with our equal pay expertise and support, coupled with free legal advice, we will give women the confidence to address the unfairness and so meet the project’s goal.”
Paula is an employment lawyer with a wealth of experience. She always puts her clients at the centre of everything she does, helping them to defend their rights fiercely