Get the latest hospitality news and inspiration straight to your inbox. Subscribe to our newsletter.

Dinner ladies win £4m compensation

Bedfordshire county council faces a bill of up to £4m after nearly 400 dinner ladies sued them for compensation and won.

Cooks and kitchen assistants will receive between £2,000 and £4,000 in back pay, after the council cut pay and conditions during compulsory tendering in 1994. The GMB and Unison unions, which backed the women, argued that the council had breached sex discrimination laws.

The settlement also provides for “full reinstatement of previous terms and conditions of employment for all employees from April 1997.”

Following local government reorganisation, Luton Borough Council now has responsibility for meals in some schools, while private firm Initial Catering won the £5m-a-year contract for the rest of the county in February 1997.

Initial said in a statement that all compensation and costs would be paid for by Bedfordshire council.

Start the discussion

Sign in to comment or register new account

Start the working day with

The Caterer’s free breakfast briefing email

Sign up now for:

  • The latest exclusives from across the industry
  • Innovations, new openings, business news and practical advice
  • The latest product innovations and supplier offers
Sign up for free