2nd August 2007 - 10th update

Andy Walker
120 Blythswood Road, Ilford, Essex IG3 8SG
Tel: 020 8590 7739 Mobile: 07956 263088
Email: andy.walker@talk21.com

Dear Agents,

I thank delegates for voting for the following emergency motion at conference on 17 May 2007.

‘This Conference instructs the National Committee to request a response from Kate O’Neill on the issue of holiday pay for Financial Advisors under the old contract.’

It was good to hear Merdy Briggs state from the platform that holiday pay and consequential pension loss remain a live issue for advisors. This is because of an Employment Tribunal decision given of 12 March 2007 stating the CIS underpaid holiday pay to agents from 1998 through to 2005. Should the decision be upheld at the Employment Appeal Tribunal later this year this means the CIS underpaid staff many millions of pounds.

The key issues for Kate O’Neill to report on are
  1. Whether it is reasonable for financial advisors to lodge adjourned claims at the county court pending the result of John and Steve’s case and the Stringer case per the advice of Philip Engelman, counsel at Cloisters chambers.
  2. Whether USDAW should write to the CIS to ask for holiday pay target reduction clause now an employment tribunal has said the CIS were wrong to exclude an allowance for procuration fees holiday pay from holiday pay.
  3. Whether USDAW will fund John Herring and Steve Harrison’s appeal at the forthcoming hearing of the Employment Appeal Tribunal. I am advised these cases could go to the Court of Appeal but Steve & John need the assistance of USDAW for this.
  4. Will USDAW help John And Steve reclaim the £4750 costs paid by them to the CIS at an earlier employment tribunal decision which has been overturned.
Click here for Employment Tribunal Decision.

Stakeholder pension case
In the same way that the CIS have arguably underpaid thousands of staff holiday pay, I maintain it is reasonable to argue that the CIS have also illegally taken many millions of pounds from policyholders. This is because the CIS was operating a differential bonus policy in favour of stakeholder pension policyholders at the expense of other with-profit policyholders. This was a differential bonus policy and the Equitable Life case is a precedent which may make the practice illegal. I have commenced a county court claim against the CIS on the issue and the CIS have said the claim is of ‘potentially wide application on matters of policy for all financial services providers’. USDAW challenged the practice when it was introduced. Like holiday pay, I maintain this is an issue USDAW should support. This is because I argue the stakeholder subsidy has reduced CIS policyholder payouts. This does not help financial advisors sell CIS products.

Yours sincerely

Andy Walker

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