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Wiltshire Council confirms appeal against employment tribunal judgement

Wiltshire Council is appealing a tribunal ruling that deemed an email from CEO Terence Herbert “unlawful.” The email, related to a dispute over removing out-of-hours pay enhancements, was allegedly intended to deter industrial action. Herbert claims it aimed to correct misinformation from GMB union.
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Wiltshire Council is launching an appeal against a recent employment tribunal judgement, which declared an email sent by its CEO as “unlawful.”

The email in question, sent by Terence Herbert in November 2022, was related to a long-running dispute in which Wiltshire Council is seeking to remove contractual out-of-hours pay enhancements.

GMB, the union for Wiltshire Council staff, claim the correspondence was intended to deter its traffic wardens from voting in industrial action.

Herbert, who is preparing to transition from Wiltshire Council to Surrey County Council, maintains that he was trying to correct “misleading” statements from GMB.

He said: “We haven’t made the decision to appeal lightly, but after carefully considering legal advice, we feel this is the correct course of action.

“We have always believed our position in this case was strong and that the email at the heart of this issue was intended to correct inaccurate information and reassure staff that the council was working to resolve this as swiftly as possible, as our priority throughout has been, and remains, the wellbeing of our staff.

“This appeal does not change our focus to resolve the terms and conditions issue as quickly and fairly as possible. Given this is now an ongoing case, it would be inappropriate to make further comments at this stage.”

He described the pay policies, which Wiltshire Council is seeking to change, as “historical” and “no longer fit for purpose.”

In March 2024, Bristol Employment Tribunal found that the staff who received the email “were subjected to a detriment on grounds related to union activities”, a conclusion which Wiltshire Council is now disputing.

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