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  1. The wealthiest 62 people have as much wealth as that of half the worlds population combined: http://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/jan/18/richest-62-billionaires-wealthy-half-world-population-combined
  2. Rachel Dolezal, the American civil rights activist who claimed to be black despite having white parents, has finally spoken out. Even though she grew up with blonde hair and freckles, she says she ‘identifies’ as black, and from the age of five was ‘drawing self-portraits with the brown crayon instead of the peach’. How odd that many of the people who have so vociferously criticised her are the same people who champion the rights of transgender people to ‘self-identify’ as whatever sex they choose, and insist we respect this. If we are going to allow people to pick their gender, why can’t we do the same with race?
  3. Hi all, I really need some advise on my current Employment Case and what to do next. Im currently representing myself, I do not belong to a Union or any org that helps me other than ACAS. I cannot afford Legal Rep and I do not qualify for Legal Aid because my partners savings count as household income(savings are for our new mortgage deposit) I will start by telling you the most relevant points from the beginning. Im from a non EU country. I arrived in the UK when I was 16 years old and I have remained here for the last 12 years. I currently live in Scotland. The main concern of my story goes back to January 2012, when I had applied for a permanent residence card which I was entitled to after remaining under the same EEU family member residence card visa for 5 years continuous. At the time I was working full time and my daughter was only 5 years old. I also had already engaged in a long term relationship with my present partner for a few years. When I was asked in 2012 by my employer to show them my passport status (standard checks by employers) I advised them that because my visa came to renewal point (expiry date 16 January 2012) and I was entitled to Permanent Residence under the EU regulations, I had sent my documents to the Home Office along with my application. My employer was happy with my answer and never asked my again for the time being. In June 2012 I received a letter from Home Office saying that I had not right to stay in the UK and I had to make travel arrangements back to Chile with any dependents(my daughter was born in the UK and held Spanish residence and attends full time education, I could not possibly remove her from her environment when she had no connections to my home country!) Their grounds of refusal were astounding! Apparently I had to show HO a divorce certificate (I never married) from my ex EEU family member but I had showed HO that I was the main carer of a EEU child and my previous relationship broke down due to Violence (evidence provided) I then made then a brand new application, this time with a help of a Immigration solicitor who assured us that my application was going to be successful, so we submitted it again. I was always open and honest to my employer as for what had been happening with my application at this stage even when they didn't ask for any further documentation, I continued working no issues. In October 2012 I was moved to a new team within my department and so I had new colleagues to work with. Comments and bullying about my race/ where I Was from" was from started to become common practice for my new colleagues. They mocked my accent almost everyday and picked on certain words I said and they would repeat it among themselves and laugh, I was certainly not laughing and it made me feel ashamed of myself. Even one of the more senior colleagues made comments about my country and its people, asking me if "we" lived in tents and If I had ever seen clean water before I arrived in the UK, it made me feel very inferior and insulted by those comments and the constant mockery. I raised a grievance with my new manager. He read my email I sent him about the situation and he acknowledged it, he then replied stating that there was a "dignity at work" policy but he didn't say or do anything else. The mockery continued and I did confront my colleagues about it, but it just kept happening on a weekly basis. Then, in December 2012 I found out I was pregnant! delightful news for our family (we wanted a baby so bad after I had a miscarriage in May that year) In December same year, I had two one to one meetings with my manager to address the racially fueled comments and also to discuss a few absences from work due to pregnancy related illnesses I was suffering. I had to tell my manager I was pregnant. My manager did nothing about the racial discrimination comments but instead decided to victimized me and mock me as well in one of those meetings, he said "but you speak funny"- He then asked me who was making such comments and laughing at me, but he then did nothing and excused himself saying that " he obviously was never there present in the team to witness" During the course of December I fell ill with my pregnancy, I had some bleeding at 9 and then 12 weeks and I was panicking. I then developed Sciatica and PGP which left me grounded in bed for several days before I could start Physiotherapy, I could hardly move or walk without the help of crutches. I was signed off by doctor for a couple of weeks(xmas celebrations/new year) When physio started I commenced a new year at work, January 2013, but I was still taking time off for my physio appointments and my weekly check ups because of my bleeding., I could see that my manager wasn't happy and he started asking me to work time off for appointments back. Then, at the beginning of Feb 2013 I received the outcome of my latest Home Office application. Home Office refused to grant me Permanent Residence(grounds were again divorce certificate) and were asking for my removal from the UK. Our world came crashing down, especially when learning that the Home Office grounds of refusal were not valid and they had clearly made a mistake in law. We went ahead and appealed their decision, the appeal was accepted by Tier1 tribunal and my case was going to be allocated for a hearing date. I, then innocently shared the devastating news with some of my colleagues and my manager heard. Immediately he asked me to provide the latest letter from HO to me because he wanted to look at it. I did. He then took a copy of it and disappeared with it in hands. Later that day he called into a meeting room to say I should provide any valid paper work to prove the right of work in the UK. I obviously couldn't provide any evidence because the HO retained all my docs and they wouldn't give me any evidence with regards to my work status.( My manager was pushing me to ask HO to provide a direct email that very same day to HR confirming my work eligibility, yeah right! ) I phoned my Immigration solicitor asking for advise. He then wrote to my work and advised them I had all rights to continue working and that my appeal was going to be held shortly. My employer then said this info was only my solicitors opinion and they then continued demanding from me evidence of my right to work. My manager, continued calling me into meetings for 3 days straight about 4 times a day!, threatening me with suspension/ dismissal. I was told not to tell any of my colleagues at work of this meetings even though I was throgh out suffering with stress/crying fits. I cried my eyes out, I was so scared of losing my job and I was confused, I didn't know what else to do, I was no part of an union, my only support was my family. I tried contacting HR (who were never present in these meetings) in what to do and what were my rights, but they never came back to me. I felt harassed during my meeting with my manager and very scared, worried and no one to turn to.(within my colleagues) It was all too much for me. My partner had to take me to my GP who refereed me to counselling (10 weeks waiting list) by my doctor was very concerned about my deteriorating health that she had to prescribe me with Diazepam!. I was only to take it when in deep stress. Before I knew it I was suspended for the whole of March 2013 with full pay. Through out the suspension we had weekly meetings with employer, this meetings were all very one sided : do you have documentation to prove your right to work? I didnt know who else to ask for help, I then went to my local MP to see if she could contact HO directly and confirm my right of work, My MP was then told by the HO that employers have a service available to them called the Employee checking service" I forwarded a letter from my MP confirming of this service to my employer, this letter stated that its an employer responsibility to establish the employee residential status, not the employee. In April 11th 2013 I was dismissed. Grounds of dismissal: "you were unable to provide evidence of your right to work in the UK" "under the Immigration, Nationality and Asylum act 2006 you must prove your right to work" I appealed the dismissal on grounds that I had an immigration appeal ongoing and further evidence would be available to me, but at the same time I made a full application to the employment tribunals for unfair dismissal, race discrimination and preg/sex discrimination in July 2013 before my 3 months were up. When I had my appeal meetings with ex employer, there was a lot of finger pointing and "its your burden to prove you are not illegal immigrant" etc etc.Before the very first meeting of my appeal against dismissal, I wrote to my ex employer and I pointed out that I was going to make an unfair dismissal claim to the ET including race and sex/preg discrimination. The head of department then called me into a hearing and asked me full details of my allegations in order for her to carry out a full investigation. At the time I had copies of the very email of my grievance to my manager. Ms head of department took copies of this and asked If i possessed any further evidence of my allegations. I responded no.( I do but I will tell more about it later) I was sick, it all got too much, I collapsed at home with panick attacks and uncontrollable crying fits. In August 2013 I had our baby, he was healthy and great! I lost my SMP thought, and future earnings, and to date my employment tribunal is still ongoing. My Immigration status has now been sorted and I have been granted residence based on my daughter entitlement to be in the UK (which I am also going to appeal) but because I am her main carer I need to work to provide for her. I am claiming Unfair dismissal, race discrimination, preg/sex discrimination, the respondent denies this allegations on the ET3 form and also claims that unfair dismissal was to prevent future fines under I, N and Asylum act 2006. They also say that my race, sex/preg are time barred and therefore put of time, also say that I never raised grievances with my employer My case was accepted. We already had a Prem hearing at the Tribunals and this went ok. We are now waiting on a final hearing date. Im going to cut to the chase here. I want to ask about settling. We have a mediator from Acas, who has been very helpful and neutral, but also the respondent keeps messing around with in respect with lies and none clear information in order to have a fair settlement. When I didn't have my Immigration status through yet and my ex employer wanted to settle (they wanted me to withdraw all claims) they started their offer with £500, currently they offered a "without prejudice" £5000 (on a commercial basis), but that is because they now saw my immigration status has now been confirmed that I always had the right to work. I submitted this infor to the Judge who then accepted this as evidence.(he had previously sisted the case awaiting on my immigration status) My grounds are here: 1) I was unfairly dismissed because, when you have an open and ongoing application/ appeal with the HO your rights continue as they were attached to your previous visa, ie right to work and create business, Also unfair because, its not for me to prove the dismissal was unfair, it is for my ex employer to rove that that they fairly dismiss me. They could of Investigated my immigration status a bit more and instead decided to assume I had no right to reside in the UK 2) I raised a grievance into the race discrimination which my employer decided to ignore at any attempt I made to raise it, therefor the grievance was never carried out and still open and ongoing, therefore it is not time barred- taking the circumstances of how things happened (to support this, I had made a detailed explanation of my claims to add to my ET1 and already submitted it to ET. (oh gosh! my fingers hurt) Based on all the info above (please ask questions if you need) how much should I be settling for? what calculations should I be using to see how much my case is worth?? what are my success rates? How an I go Pro-bono ( you need to understand we have a family and losing my job has been a financial nightmare!-not to mention the mentally/physically draining battle) I am on anti -depressants. Please help, any advise is appreciated, and please dont be judgmental towards me , I have never cheated, my visas have always been up to date and I have always worked and paid my NI and taxes into the UK.- I think I have suffered enough already. Before hand, Thank you very much. Ps: I do have further evidence but this is retained by my partner who works for my ex employer, he currently has all my conversations with him via an IM system at work, in where I told him about the racial comments while they were happening! ie all mocking, name calling, names of the people involved etec. Can I use this evidence if the Respondent fails to provide me with it (they have dragged their feet with their internal investigation outcome, I have now asked for an order which the judge says he will consider if the Respondent fails to update me on the outcome of the Investigation)?
  4. It had all the hallmarks of a well-orchestrated bit of kite flying. First, the Chancellor’s favourite think tank, Policy Exchange, suggested a mass distribution of RBS shares to the public – offered free upfront. Hours later, the Prime Minister called for progress on reprivatisation of RBS to be made as quickly as possible and did not rule out selling the bank for a loss. “I’m open to all ideas and proposals,” he said with a metaphorical nudge and a wink. The Government’s current obsession with the fate of RBS is a bit of a mystery, the fact that taxpayers own 81pc of its shares notwithstanding. After all, Lloyds Banking Group, which is 31pc owned by the taxpayer, looks a much better candidate for a relinquishing of the Government’s stake, given it has far fewer issues to contend with than its troubled rival. This was highlighted again on Thursday when comments from chief executive Antonio Horta-Osorio about the likelihood of a full-year profit caused the lender’s shares to rise to within a hair’s breadth of their break-even price. With Lloyds shares trading above 60p for the first time since March 2011, the bank’s market value was on Thursday less than 1p off the 61.2p minimum threshold for a sale. By way of comparison, RBS shares have been hovering around 300p for some time, putting it about 100p below the assumed minimum price for any sale. Link: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/telegraph-view/10062903/Lloyds-looks-a-better-horse-to-back-in-the-bank-reprivatisation-race.html
  5. I sold a non road use racing motorcycle in a private sale back in October of last year. It was a bike that I had only ridden on 4 brief occasions having bought it myself privately a year earlier. I resold the bike using the full description I was given from the guy who I purchased it from. In my ownership I rode the bike on track on just four occasions and had the bike Dyno tested in my ownership where it made the power the guy I purchased it from claimed. The guy I bought it from had claimed that the engine had been refreshed not long prior to my purchase but could not produce receipts for this work so I took a punt on buying the bike as he seemed genuine and was well known in race circles as a genuine guy. I had no reason to believe that the bike had any issues at all. I know a good bike from bad and this one rode well and the engine was very strong on power. I was forced to sell it for financial reasons but sold it on with great confidence and genuinely thought the buyer got a fantastic bargain given the further £500 I reduced the asking price to get it sold to a good home. It was sold for more that £1000 less than I paid for it and I only used it 4 trackdays, plus I paid out £500 for further parts and testing. I was so confident in it being sound I sold it to a mate, genuinely feeling I was doing him a favour. I'm now deeply embarrassed as the bike blew its engine on just its second day on track with its new owner. He has had the engine stripped by a specialist who feels from the condition of the engine that it has not had the recent refresh work done as claimed. I pointed out in the sale that I was told that this work had been done but I couldn't produce receipts but in my brief use of the bike and the testing I had done I saw absolutely no reason to doubt it. I really don't know for sure if the bike has been run low on oil, overheated or over revved. These highly strung bikes have oil changes after every use so it may have been run with the wrong level, they have no cooling fans so have to be kept moving or may have overheating damage and are very easy to over rev when down shifting on track. If the specialist feels the bike has not been refreshed as claimed its hard to contest that without receipts to prove the work and its something that can only really be seen with the engine in bits. The buyer has not asked anything of me yet but if they do I would like to be sure of my rights should he get a huge bill and expect me to do something. I'm worried he may want to reject the bike which I cannot afford to buy back or expect me to pay for the repair which may amount to a huge sum of money which again I don't have. It was a private sale, done for cash with no receipt advertised through an internet forum. Even worse the buyer is a good friend. I'm unsure yet if he is prepared to take it on the chin as it was a private sale on a highly strung race bike. We have all bought and sold a few and you take your chances. I've just passed on the description I had which I had no reason to doubt. I'm hoping its either going to be taken on the chin or if he does feel I owe something legally I don't have any liability and am here looking to confirm that this is the case. I just hope any goodwill gesture I can afford to make will be taken as being fair and better than nothing. I really don't think I'm going to get anywhere going back to the guy who sold it to me either, like me he is not a trader either, just a private individual. The last refresh was done by a mate of his so he may well of believed himself it had been done correctly. Gutted what should have been a sweet deal turned into a mess and I hope it doesn't mess up a friendship. I hate people feeling like I have wronged someone when I genuinely thought the bike was a good one. I want to make it right but have to protect myself and just don't have the cash to do anything but make a small gesture to help.
  6. Evening All I have a question for the more knowlegable people: I have resigned and claimed constructive dissmissal - the reason has been onfirmed as the three individuals - including the racist one have been found guilty of the exact reason why I resigned so its case proved there methinks. I also claim racism due to the use of "not your place", and "not in our culture", and no one for the past 4 years [before, during and after the Greivance, and its Appeal], has been able to explain its use. Now someone who is acting as a go between to their Solcitors [not even sure if person asking this is legally qualified...] are demanding that I give a "comparator" for my treatment, which has got me puzzled and scratching my head. As I do not know of anybody else who I can compare myself to - I didnt work in Hr or talk to anybody else there how can I supply what is being demanded? I also due to health issues put in a disablity claim, same thing there. Reason why I'm asking is that I have a PHR in a couple of days - the main 6 day hearing is due in a couple of months or so. Can anybody give me a bit of insight here considerng the above? Oh, forgot to mention I am doing this on my own, as apparently as solicitors thought the constructive was unprovable, they thought I would get less than the mminum amount so none were interested in taking this up. Kind Regards
  7. Is there a 'race to the bottom' in the basic bank account market? http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-19621680 I think banks need to be told that they should offer basic account that; Are free Allow direct debits, standing orders, direct credit, faster payment Counter service Online banking (if offered to other normal customers) Debit card Availiable to everyone without a credit check (ex cons, bankrupts etc) Universal Credit will be a bank only benefit. Everyone now needs free access to the banking system. Co Op should be proud that their account has been the best for so long not unhappy that they have an 'unfair' market share.
  8. Hi all, I have a friend who is currently on leave from work with stress. She is on a rolling three month contract and has been with her present employer (a marketing company) for over a year. She has recently been subject to bullying by management and she has been the butt of numerous remarks/jokes about her non-british background (she is from Dublin) - even to the point of receiving emails on the subject from fellow employees. The company has investigated her complaints about the situation, disciplined an employee and apologised to her. Even so, she feels she can't go back to that workplace and she has resigned. Is there much that can be done to hold this company to account?
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