If you’ve not been directly affected by the ongoing bin collection dispute in Birmingham, you will certainly have heard about it in the press. This is my understanding of the dispute. Grade 2 rubbish collectors work in teams collecting rubbish across Birmingham. They are supervised by one Grade 3 collector who also collects rubbish but has additional health and safety responsibilities. In May, the Council decided to make 122 of these Grade 3 employees redundant. 
 
The Council say that the driver of the 12 tonne rubbish trucks could perform the health and safety role, which the Grade 3 employees are currently responsible for. So, Birmingham City Council are proposing to downgrade the existing Grade 3 employees or, if they refuse, make them redundant.  The impact on the employees is either a loss of £5,000 a year or redundancy. £5,000 is a lot of money to someone whose annual salary is £21,000. 
 
There are clearly two sides to this dispute and I suspect it will rumble on for some while. 

Do you know what your legal rights are if your employer imposes changes to your contract of employment? 

 
Quote by a male BBC actor - "Many men's salaries aren't just for them, it's for their wife and children, too." 
 
Last week, the BBC revealed details of what it pays its highest earners. 
 
Chris Evans was the highest paid male and received over £2m whereas the highest paid woman, Claudia Winkleman earned between £450,000 and £499,000.  The top four highest paid men collectively earned £5,500,000 compared to £1,749,996 earned by the top four highest paid women. 
These revelations are clearly concerning but have they really come as a shock?  A well-known male actor for the BBC appeared to defend the pay disparity when he reportedly made the comment "Many men's salaries aren't just for them, it's for their wife and children, too."  He has since apologised for his comments but is this what many other people believe?  Top female talent at the BBC appear to have believed for some time that they were not being paid equally to their male colleagues. They’ve tried to raise their concerns but say they have been brushed aside. 
On 26 July 2017, the highest Court in the UK ruled that Employment Tribunal fees were unlawful, unconstitutional and discriminatory. As a result, fees have been abolished and it has been held that any fee collected previously, was done so unlawfully. 
 
The fees were introduced in July 2013 and applied to all claims being lodged at the Employment Tribunal. For unfair dismissal or discrimination claims a fee of up to £1,200.00 was payable. Some less complex employment matters incurred a fee of £410 even when they didn’t seek a monetary award! 
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