United Voices of the World (UVW) will appeal the decision by the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) to overturn its 2021 race discrimination win against the Royal Parks (RP). Our battle to prove that paying majority Black and brown outsourced workers worse pay than majority white in-house workers is institutional (indirect) race discrimination, continues!
Our 2021 win had established that the Royal Parks’ policy to consciously choose to NOT pay their outsourced mainly BAME cleaners & attendants the London Living Wage (LLW), while guaranteeing it to their mainly white in-house employees, amounted to indirect race discrimination.
Royal Parks appealed this ruling and the government, who are responsible for the charity, were so threatened by our watershed victory, which could potentially dismantle the entire outsourcing system, that they decided to intervene in the legal appeal process to support RP. The Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, argued that UVW’s victory posed “a significant risk that the Employment Tribunal’s judgement will lead to a proliferation of ‘copycat’ claims brought by outsourced workers.” But their application to intervene was refused by the EAT and the appeal hearing took place without government intervention in April. In early May, however, the EAT ruled in their favour on a technical point.
Petros Elia, general secretary of UVW, says the union is resolute in its fight against race discrimination: “The fact that the government sought – unsuccessfully – to intervene in this case and cried about the prospects of floodgates of “copycat” claims makes us even more determined to fight for justice. While we are disappointed with the EAT ruling against our groundbreaking 2021 legal victory against the Royal Parks, we are not giving up and we will be appealing to the Court of Appeal in due course. The EAT did accept an important part of our case that the Royal Parks does effectively determine the pay of the workers in Vinci’s toilet and cleaning contract contrary to the preposterously pleaded position of clients that outsourced workers Terms and Conditions (T&Cs) are solely set by the direct employer. This is a crucial point as the ‘clients’ of outsourced companies constantly plead innocence, ignorance or both of the exploitation of workers.”
The fight continues. watch this space for updates.