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Case to decide if AfC discriminates

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The government, managers and unions will jointly fight against a court case that will challenge whether Agenda for Change is fair to women.

Speaking at the Unison healthcare service group conference in Manchester last week, Caroline Underhill, a barrister for Thompsons, the solicitors retained by the union, detailed how a no-win, no-fee law firm is set to put the pay agreement under the spotlight at a tribunal in October (NT News, 5 February, p3).

The case of Hartley versus Northumbria NHS Trust could open the door to thousands of other similar claims that AfC discriminates against women.

Unions, NHS Employers and the government are set to team up to fight against the case, which could force a rethink of AfC terms and conditions. ‘We are preparing for that hearing,’ said Ms Underhill. ‘This is going to be a very important year for legal pay.’

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