Council faces massive legal bill over discrimination claims

Croydon Council is facing a serious legal challenge over the way it has treated its staff

Croydon Council is facing claims potentially running into hundreds of thousands of pounds, and legal bills of much more, over claims of discrimination in the workplace from 50 former employees, all but one of them women.

The claims over missed bonuses were issued two years ago, but have been held back, awaiting a Supreme Court judgement in a case involving Birmingham City Council.

That ruling was handed down on Wednesday this week, the judges finding in favour of women employees.

Croydon Council has told the BBC that it will “judge each case on its merits”.

The large number of claimants and the scope of their complaints will only serve to reinforce Croydon Council’s deteriorating reputation as an employer, with staff morale sinking ever lower due to redundancies and reduced employment terms, as well as allegations of poor management and even bullying. Inside Croydon has been approached by a number of employees who are considering pursuing Employment Tribunals against the council for unfair dismissal.

Chris Benson, a partner at a partner at Leigh Day & Co solicitors who are bringing the class action for former Croydon employees in the discrimination case, told the BBC: “We have a very good case. I’m not aware of any local authorities who have been able to justify this kind of pay differential between men and women.

“We hope to discuss with Croydon Council’s lawyers and see if an amicable decision can be reached. If not it will be up to the court to decide.”

Some of the cases involve the council’s policy of getting existing care staff to re-apply for their jobs, which were offered on altered terms, or “outsourced” those jobs to agencies, often providing local residents with a reduced service, usually at an increased cost.

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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email
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