UNISON will receive compensation of £647,000 after the union settled an employment tribunal case against Somerset County Council.

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If you work or have worked for Discovery in Somerset, you could be entitled to a share of the financial settlement UNISON secured for members in September 2019.

UNISON lodged an Employment Tribunal claim where we argued that the council had flouted the law by failing to properly inform and consult with union officials about the impact on 1,100 employees of privatising the county’s learning disability services.

In the settlement agreed shortly after the hearing began, Somerset County Council agreed to pay UNISON £674,000, which will be shared proportionately between eligible members.

Have you left Discovery and are unsure if you’ll be eligible to claim? 

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UNISON settles employment tribunal case and receives more than half a million pounds

UNISON will receive compensation of £674,000 after the union settled an employment tribunal case against Somerset County Council. UNISON argued the council had flouted the law by failing to properly inform and consult with union officials about the impact on 1,100 employees of privatising the county’s learning disability services. When specialist company Discovery (part of […]

One hundred Somerset learning disability service redundancies predicted

Over one in ten staff supporting people with learning disabilities could be made redundant in a new round of cuts announced by Discovery. The company, which runs Somerset’s learning disability service, put out a 45 day consultation on an unspecified number of redundancies. UNISON, the union representing staff affected, has warned that the length of […]

Discovery performance report “a sham”

Public service union UNISON has branded a Discovery performance report on the outsourced learning disability service (LDS) provider “a sham” ahead of a Somerset County Council scrutiny committee meeting on Wednesday (8 November). The comments come following concerns the Discovery performance report does not reflect service quality since the outsourcing six months ago. The Somerset […]

Somerset LDS consultative ballot

99% reject Discovery Learning Disability cuts

A consultative ballot of UNISON members in Somerset’s Learning Disability Service has returned a 99% “reject” response to Discovery’s cuts. Almost all Learning Disability staff are UNISON members and 70% participated in the vote. Staff voted following Discovery’s decision to unilaterally end the consultation process without addressing their concerns. After Somerset County Council outsourced the Learning […]

Learning Disability staff protest over pay cuts of up to £12000

Care workers at Somerset’s Learning Disability Service will this week step up their action over pay cuts ranging from £1800 to £12000 per-year proposed by Discovery, the organisation now handed control. A “pay-slip-protest” has been organised by public service union UNISON, illustrating how much staff wages would drop by under Discovery’s plan and the damage […]

FAQs

FAQs

Discovery Somerset

  • What was the Employment Tribunal about?

    UNISON lodged the Employment Tribunal on the basis that both Somerset County Council and Discovery failed to adequately inform UNISON of some of the steps Discovery intended to take after the transfer of Council Learning Disability Services and failed to provide sufficient information about the implications of the transfer.

  • What settlement was reached?

    UNISON secured a financial settlement of £674,000 and agreement that UNISON and Discovery would negotiate a new Collective Agreement. UNISON’s focus in this negotiation will be to improve terms and conditions for Discovery staff.

  • What are the arrangements for distribution of the settlement?

    UNISON is not yet in receipt of the settlement. Our priority at this stage is to identify members who are potentially eligible for a share of the settlement.

     

    If you think you may be eligible please complete our online form: 

    Am I eligible for a share of the financial settlement?

  • What are the timescales involved in members receiving a share of the settlement?

    We will provide timescales once we are in receipt of the settlement. Please keep an eye on your inbox as we will communicate this via e-mail in the first instance. If we do not have your current email address please update your membership record on MyUNISON. 

    Update my details

  • How will UNISON progress the Collective Agreement?

    ACAS (Arbitration, Conciliation Advice Service) will convene a meeting between Discovery and UNISON and facilitate negotiations. We will continue to engage with our members in Discovery to ensure that we represent their views in these negotiations.

  • Do I need to attend a meeting?

    You do not need to attend a meeting. UNISON is attending Discovery team meetings where updates can be provided, membership feedback taken  and questions addressed, if we are not booked to attend your next team meeting please contact us on 01823 355567 or e-mail: unisonoffice@somerset.gov.uk to book a visit.

  • Do I need to sign any paperwork or fill out a form to claim anything?

    If you think you may be eligible for a share of the financial settlement please complete our online form: 

    Am I eligible for a share of the financial settlement?

  • Am I eligible for a share of the settlement?

    Current UNISON members may be eligible for a share based on;

    • Employment in Somerset County Council Learning Disability Service prior to transfer
    • Joined UNISON before 1 April 2017
    • Transferred to Discovery on 1 April 2017
    • Maintained their UNISON membership to date

    If this applies please complete our short web form here:

    Am I eligible for a share of the financial settlement?

  • I no longer work with Discovery, can I still claim?

    You may be eligible if you were employed by Somerset County Council and transferred to Discovery on 1st April 2017 providing you have also had continuous UNISON membership.

     

    If you think you may be eligible for a share of the financial settlement please complete our short web form here: 

    Am I eligible for a share of the financial settlement?

  • I didn’t continue my UNISON membership. How do I stand now?

    UNISON wrote to members advising them to maintain their membership throughout the claim. Most recently in May 2019. UNISON can not make payment to non-members. If your membership has lapsed you will be ineligible for a share of the financial settlement. 

  • Will my previous years of membership be taken into consideration, if I’m not a current member or if there is a gap in my membership since April 2017?

    UNISON can only award a share of our settlement to current UNISON members. UNISON publicised the requirement to maintain UNISON membership throughout the claim. Most recently in May 2019. If you are no longer a member of UNISON you will be ineligible for a share of the financial settlement.