A NESTO WOMAN has won a lawsuit after the Home Office terminated her employee’s contract.
Angela Maull, 42, took a position in the financial control department of DDAT technology in November 2018.
She was offered a salary of £33,032 and received the agreed salary over four months. Without notice or agreement, the Home Office cut Angela’s basic salary to £29,040 after sending her a new employment contract which she refused to sign.
The Home Office claimed they had made a mistake in Angela’s workplace, sending her the original contract, as they had her workplace in Croydon, while her workplace was Liverpool.
Angela explained that she traveled to Croydon for work, around three days a week, until she fell ill, after which it was agreed that she would work in Liverpool while undergoing tests.
From June 2019, the Home Office paid Angela a reduced ‘base rate’ of £29,040 a year and an additional amount described as ‘Mark Time’ of £3,992 a year.
On July 21, in Birkenhead County Court, it was argued that nothing in the terms of employment gave the Home Office the right to reduce Angela’s base rate of pay and describe a part equal to the reduction as “Mark Time”.
In October 2019 and November 2020, Home Office staff won a pay rise. Because Angela received “Mark Time”, she did not receive the benefit of the salary increases because the Mark Time erred on any salary increase.
In addition, when Angela was on secondment, she was entitled to a 10% salary increase. However, due to the Mark Time payment, she did not receive this pay raise either.
Although Angela received an annual total of £33,032, with that amount split between a reduced base salary and Marked Time, it caused problems which resulted in lost wages and lost pension contributions.
The judge confirmed that Angela should be put in the same position as if the contract had been performed. Angela got an uplift in October 2019 and 2020 and she missed them. She was also absent with regard to secondment.
The Court ruled in favor of Angela and awards were made for loss of severance pay, loss of raises and loss of pension contributions.
Alisha Butler of Phoenix Solicitors said: “Angela had a very strong case from the start which for us was a very clear breach of contract. Our attempts were ignored, and that is the problem facing asylum seekers. The right decision has been made by the Court, and we invite anyone else in the same situation to get in touch with us.
Angela said: “I am absolutely thrilled to have won my case, which I would not have done without the help and boost of confidence from Alisha and her team at Phoenix Solicitors and Peter Harthan who explained the legal process and the law when I was very uncertain and a bit afraid to challenge such a large government organization.
“The Home Office’s behavior is very disappointing and a waste of taxpayers’ money. I hope my colleagues at the Home Office will read my story and get in touch with Alisha of Phoenix Solicitors to pursue and receive what is rightfully theirs if they are on time.
Mr Harthan, Angela’s solicitor, said: ‘It was a matter of offer and acceptance. I am happy to have helped the Claimant to ensure that the Home Office pays her as agreed in her employment contract.
“His victory in court shows that departments must meet their contractual obligations to public servants and cannot assume that employees will be reappointed or pressured to accept payment terms less favorable than those agreed.”
A Home Office spokesperson said: ‘We do not comment on individual cases.