Council accused of reneging on deal

A PARISH council has been accused of paying a worker less than the wage he had been promised in an internet advertisement.Raymond Tuffs claimed the amount he was paid by Mildenhall Parish Council was £1 an hour below what he had expected to get.

A PARISH council has been accused of paying a worker less than the wage he had been promised in an internet advertisement.

Raymond Tuffs claimed the amount he was paid by Mildenhall Parish Council was £1 an hour below what he had expected to get.

He told an employment tribunal yesterday he had responded to a vacancy for an assistant groundsperson in January last year and, after an interview, had been awarded the job.

But Mr Tuffs, of Victoria Place, Eriswell, said while the advertisement had promised a starting wage of £6 an hour, rising after a month to £7.06p, it had later emerged the lower figure was the only one on offer.


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Parish clerk David Lindsay blamed the problem on misrepresentation by Employment Service staff who had prepared the internet advert and insisted that Mr Tuffs had been told about the true wage available on a number of occasions.

He added newspaper advertising and notices posted in Mildenhall announcing

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the vacancy had also given the correct figure, but Mr Tuffs said he had never seen those advertisements.

But Mr Lindsay admitted it would take Mr Tuffs until April 2007 to reach a wage of £7.06 an hour through normal annual increases.

Mr Tuffs, who took the council job after being made redundant from the Elveden Estate, where had worked for 24 years, said he was still employed by Mildenhall Parish Council and wanted what he believed was owed to him.

He asked the tribunal in Bury St Edmunds to uphold his claim and order that the council paid the amount he claimed.

The tribunal heard when Mr Tuffs had discovered what he was being paid for his four-day-a-week job, he had protested, but with no effect.

Mr Lindsay, who heads the council's eight-strong workforce based at its offices in Recreation Way, Mildenhall, said councillors who had met in private session had supported the decision to pay no more than the £6 rate.

Giving evidence, Mr Tuffs said it had been his firm belief that Mildenhall Parish Council had promised to pay him the £7.06 an hour rate with effect on April last year.

He added without that assurance he would not have taken the job. "I wouldn't

have bothered at six quid," said Mr Tuffs.

He claimed when he had protested, he had been told he could leave the job if he did not like what was being offered.

Mr Lindsay, who has been clerk to the council for four years, said it had not been possible to check the information sent to the Employment

Service for the internet advert because when posts were filled, the paperwork was destroyed by the organisation.

The tribunal has adjourned to allow the three-member panel to reach a decision, which chairman Jeremy Cole said would be announced at a later date.

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