Help to bring a Landmark Equal Pay claim against TalkTalk

by Rebecca Burke

Help to bring a Landmark Equal Pay claim against TalkTalk

by Rebecca Burke
Rebecca Burke
Case Owner
Landmark equal pay claim against TalkTalk
Closed
on 13th November 2019
£6,230
pledged of £30,000 target from 125 pledges
Rebecca Burke
Case Owner
Landmark equal pay claim against TalkTalk

Latest: Nov. 13, 2019

Thank you!

Hello to all my backers,

Thank you so much for your support through this CrowdJustice platform. £30,000 was a massive amount of money to raise in just 30 days and unfortunately we didn't m...

Read more

A video blog on why I need your help.

I worked at TalkTalk as a Programme Director, having held project and change roles across government and the private sector for over 22 years. I was part of TalkTalk's Top 50 Leadership Team, working within their Change Shared Services function to deliver the top 10 highest priority programmes for the business. You might recognise some of the programmes I led during my time there as they regularly made the headlines, such as: 

The Lightning Programme - connecting a full fibre network to 30,000 homes in York:  https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2016/05/22/how-the-gothic-city-of-york-became-a-broadband-battleground/ 

A major Cyber Security Programme to recover from the major cyber attack which hit the headlines in 2015: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/11/19/talktalk-hackers-jailed-18-months-2015-cyber-attack-caused-misery/ 

In May 2017 I was shocked to discover that I had been singled out for redundancy. The suspicious circumstances led me through a slow and painful appeals process that eventually exposed the fact that TalkTalk had been paying me 40% less salary and 50% less bonus than the 3 other male Programme Directors that were in my team doing the same job.

You may have seen some articles in the press relating to the case:

Myself and my family have endured the years of financial and emotional stress in this fight for justice against a giant corporation. I have sacrificed my career, sanity and financial stability because I want to help build a fairer future for our young women and girls by holding our UK businesses to account when they break the equal pay laws that women fought so hard for 50 years ago.

This experience has opened my eyes to the gender discrimination and equal pay issues that women and girls are facing everywhere, everyday. I'm sharing this story with you so that you can join me in the fight for equal pay. This case is one of the first unfair dismissal and 'like work' equal pay cases of its kind in the UK, and so will create valuable case law to simplify equal pay cases in the future. 

I personally funded a tribunal in December 2018, but the case was postponed after a rare intervention by my barrister, Naomi Cunningham, who asked the tribunal panel to stand down on the grounds that it was hostile to Rebecca’s case. In an address to the tribunal, Ms Cunningham said: “No claimant in an equal pay case listening to the exchanges could be expected to feel any confidence that any part of her claim would get a fair hearing.” The tribunal, chaired by Judge Graeme Hodgson, adjourned for several days to consider the request before declining to step down, which led to the case being rescheduled.

The final hearing dates have now been set, the public hearing will run from 27th January 2020 until 7th February 2020, and I need your help to fund the legal support for this case:

I need to raise my initial target of £30,000, and then work towards £40,000 by 12th November to present this case before tribunal. Please donate what you can today.

By supporting this crowdfunding campaign you will also be supporting the Fawcett Society and Times Up UK as any compensation or settlement I receive I have pledged to both charities so that we can continue the fight for equal pay together.

Thank you to all those who have supported me on this journey so far, and to those who support me now. Together we can win the fight for equal rights.

Rebecca



Carrie Gracie, BBC News Presenter and writer of ‘Equal’ a story of women, men and money, said: 

“I believe there is often an element of pay discrimination lurking behind the gender pay gap figures of big employers. It takes the courage of silence breakers like Rebecca Burke to call it out. Without cases like this, the public is none the wiser. An immense sacrifice by one woman to alert others to the risk.”

Sam Smethers, CEO of The Fawcett Society charity which campaigns for women's rights, said:

“Despite nearly fifty years since the Equal Pay Act, we know that pay discrimination is still happening all over the country. By supporting women who call it out we’re recognising their strength and determination and the high personal cost of bringing a challenge. Sadly, a tribunal is not an option for most women, but through our Equal Pay Advice Service we can help more women secure settlements with their employers and with public support we can campaign to change the law to make equal pay a reality.”

Sam Walker, who won her case against the Co-Op Group in 2018 and has since been supporting other women with their cases said:

“Unfortunately, there is very little information in the public domain to show how much of this is happening. All too often women cannot afford the financial or mental toll this takes on them and end up signing NDAs and settling out of court for sums far less than they have lost in the 'back pay' owed. There needs to be legal reform and reform within financial reporting mechanisms to reveal the extent of equality 'pay-offs' that are happening all the time. For those women who do litigate and win, there is no award for costs in the tribunal system, unlike in the county courts, so you are lucky if you even cover your costs with the amount awarded. Rebecca has no alternative but to crowd fund her next stage. She is indeed a brave woman.”

Matthew Bethell, Head of Campaigns for CrowdJustice said:

“CrowdJustice helps people level the legal playing field, in this case by enabling Rebecca to bring legal action against a large entity with significant resources. Crowdfunding for legal cases enables people to raise funds but also build a community around issues they care about which is why it can be such a powerful tool in employment and whistleblowing disputes.”








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Update 3

Rebecca Burke

Nov. 13, 2019

Thank you!

Hello to all my backers,

Thank you so much for your support through this CrowdJustice platform. £30,000 was a massive amount of money to raise in just 30 days and unfortunately we didn't make it. No funds were taken from your accounts, and now they won't be, but if you are still keen to give money in support of equal pay for women then please do donate directly to the Fawcett Society here today:

https://www.fawcettsociety.org.uk/donate/donate/20/credit-card 

I have no regrets...........

This experience has been an incredible one from start to finish. I have had the chance to tell my story to so many people, whether through social media, in the papers, on the radio or face-to-face at conferences and meetings. Through each of these avenues I've met many more brave women fighting the fight for all, and so thank you to all of you who have reached out, taken an interest and supported this campaign.

My court case is scheduled to proceed from 27th January until 7th February 2020 at our London Employment Tribunal Courts, and I have decided that I will not abandon this case. I will join the growing number of females who are taking the decision to represent themselves in court, rather than acquiesce to this social injustice in silence. I am committing to also keep you, my backers, updated with my progress through this case and beyond, and, in return, I hope that I can continue to rely on your support through as I emerge into the New Year ready to create important case law that will smooth the way for other women, and highlight the barriers that prevent women from achieving equal pay for equal work.

Thank you for your support,

Rebecca

Update 2

Rebecca Burke

Oct. 23, 2019

£5,000 - we're 20% of the way there!

Hi everyone

Over 1,500 people have visited this CrowdJustice page to find out how they can help to fight equal pay. Not everyone can spare the cash to donate, but I am hoping that all visitors can commit to sharing this message, so that we can generate more awareness around this important issue. 

Copy this link https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/equalpayforall/ into WhatsApp, messenger, twitter, facebook, twitter, email or even just tell your friends, it really is that easy to do your bit to help.

Rebecca

Update 1

Rebecca Burke

Oct. 14, 2019

£2000 reached on first day of campaign!

Thank you to all those who have supported me in this campaign for equal pay, and I'm truly inspired and overwhelmed by the response so far. I never imagined that we would smash through our £2,000 target on the first day, so thank you for reminding me that I do not have to stand alone.

I'm sure that there are many other people and voices that may want to join ours in this fight for equal rights, but I need your help to reach them. Please forward this CrowdJustice link to 10 of your friends and family members, so that we can all stand together, to send a clear message that we will not be discriminated against anymore. 

Rebecca

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