No Win No Fee lawyers – Advocates in bargaining for equal pay!

When I think of No-win-no-fee lawyers I instantly become enraged with the frustrating phrase ‘have you had an accident at work that was not your fault’ playing around and tormenting me in my mind. I think you will agree with me when I say listening to them drone on about how much money they could save you is enough to make anyone’s blood boil but despite their rotten reputation it seems they are actually more good than harm!

 Recent studies by Simon Deakin, a Cambridge University law professor along with co-authors writing in the Cambridge Journal of Economics have revealed that the people behind those soul destroying ads have actually given us women a real helping hand when it comes to the enduring battle for pay equality. According to Deakin, an “unprecedented increase in the number of claims” was “triggered in part by the entry of no-win, no-fee law firms into this part of the legal services market” after a change in the law.

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Since the publication of high-street legal companies through TV ads, Deakin explains that there has been a massive spike in the number of women taking their employers to tribunals over male to female pay differences with cases rising from approximately 8,00 a year in 2004-05 to over 60,000 cases from 2007-2008. The significant increase has led to praising of the no-win, no-fee lawyers for their ‘proactive role in shaping the operation of human rights laws in ways that assist their intended beneficiaries.’

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Although the paper was very complimentary of high-street legal companies, it did not paint particular unions in a very pretty picture, claiming that many unions, especially local authorities have negotiated collective agreements ‘that preserved discriminatory practice.’ Following pressure from society with regards to pay inequality it has led to local governments and public health services changing the way in which they bargain pay packets from selective pay agreements to a collective bargaining agreement. This makes it easier to tell where women are being underpaid and reform can be reviewed. From this example it was evident that unions were previously following Robbins (2005) bargaining zone theory as it allows them to ensure female employees sign an agreement, which is to the unions benefit.

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 I never in a million years thought I would be praising no-win, no-fee lawyers, but as my graduation is quickly approaching it is time I start looking for my ‘big girl’ job and pay inequality will unfortunately become a harsh reality as it has already for millions before me.

As always, I would LOVE to hear your views or hear any stories about how pay inequality has affected you through the poll and comment box below.

Natalie.

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11 thoughts on “No Win No Fee lawyers – Advocates in bargaining for equal pay!

  1. Being self employed and working in the design industry I tend to be a little naive when it comes to equal pay. I personally pay my employees on their ability not their gender and every employee has an annual review in which their pay can be negotiated depending on the work that they have put into the company. I came across this blog through the reddit site and was shocked to find how many similar articles were posted on there also. I just can not comprehend that gender inequality is still around in the 21st century, something has to be done as it breaks my heart that my children will grow up in such a discriminate world.

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    1. Thanks for commenting Jenna. It’s good for people to understand that the majority of businesses are fair and the large multinational corporations that are not paying their employees equally are the ones giving others a bad name. I recently learnt that Britain are ensuring larger companies publish how much they pay women and men so hopefully this will shame them into paying equally!! Personally I think this is great what do you think?

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  2. As a teacher in a state primary school I believe I am treated very fairly with regards to male to female payment. However it is a very female dominated industry and more men are desperately needed and from what I understand in order to gain more males more pay is being offered. I do not see this as unfair as it will benefit my industry further I just hope that once the government has evened their male to female ration pay shall be equal again.

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    1. Thanks Chris for your input its great to hear real case studies! I’ve heard about the education sector and the imbalance between men and females and to be honest I personally saw the in balance through out secondary and primary school so I understand where your coming from. Of course I understand your point in order to gain more male teachers some sort of incentive needs to be offered because as they say everyone has a price. What better incentive that lots of money? However, I feel that while offering more money will indeed encourage men to join it may never go back down and that provides yet another form of inequality! Especially with the UK government it takes a long time to change laws once they have been passed, just look at the equality acts! What do you think/

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    1. I completely agree with you Rachael! Shocking that we’re still stuck in the past, and as I mentioned in my blog post negotiating with employers for higher and more importantly equal wages is the way forward. I think it take a lot of confidence to do this though and that is what I lack, what about you? Would you negotiate a job offer?

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  3. I love your blog. It infuriates me so much that I work in a male orientated role, and I earn less than my colleagues. It shocks me that this is still considered acceptable.

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  4. Hi Sarah.

    As you can probably tell from my blog sexism and inequality is something I am very passionate about! It is sad that we live in a world that is like this. Would you consider negotiating your pay with you employer? I think I would if I was ever in that position.

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  5. I’m sure I will get in trouble for this but I believe men deserve more money as they are the main breadwinners in most situations and in some cases work harder for this reason. Although I also believe single mothers deserve a higher wage in order to support herself and her child. Finally I believe the men in higher paid jobs are in senior management jobs and get higher pay because in some cases women can’t handle the high pressure jobs like men can.

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  6. I can’t believe how arrogant and clearly uneducated the above commenter is?! Is he crazy? How can he say men deserve a higher wage as they are the main earner? He must have been born in the stone ages??? It is people like him that we have this issue his points are ridiculous and clearly he has no respect for women and I feel sorry for his wife! On a happier note great blog. It’s nice to see that those annoying adverts are finally doing some good for us girls. Let’s hope more people follow suit.

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  7. Men and women should receive the same pay. If they both good at what they do then it shouldn’t really matter what your gender is. It should be based on what the person can offer and not what gender. Good blog

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