The scourge of the public sector Stefan Cross has forced the government employment watchdog into a humiliating revision of its official statistics, forcing it to admit that it had underestimated the number of 2006-07 equal pay claims by more than 600 per cent.
In a letter to John Taylor, chief executive of the Advisory Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas), dated 25 July, the managing partner of Newcastle-based Stefan Cross Solicitors, which advises public sector employees on equal pay disputes, slammed the service’s annual report as “patent nonsense.”
The report, which was published the day before, stated that the number of equal pay cases submitted in the UK fell to 4,126 in 2006-07, of which 426 were in Scotland.
“I was gobsmacked when I read the report,” Cross told The Lawyer. “I issued three times as many claims in Scotland myself in the same period, and the trade unions have issued twice as many as I have. There are roughly 426 equal pay cases a week in Scotland, not 426 a year.”
Following Cross’s letter, Acas published a revised report (30 July) stating that 25,264 equal pay claims were submitted in the last financial year – more than six times the figure first announced.
Cross has made a career representing claimants in equal pay claims against public bodies. A host of major firms is representing defendants, including Eversheds, Hammonds, Pinsent Masons and Wragge & Co.