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A Stafford man who worked for Staffordshire CC as a receptionist for 40 years and claims he is owed thousands of po...
A Stafford man who worked for Staffordshire CC as a receptionist for 40 years and claims he is owed thousands of pounds in overtime, reached the end of the legal road with
his claim on Friday. Instead he has been left facing a£3,500 legal costs bill.
Two of the country's top judges at the court of appeal dismissed an appeal by Melvyn Williams, of Parkside, Stafford against a decision of Stoke-on-Trent
county judge Mitchell in March last year that he was not entitled to be paid at time-and-a-half overtime rates for the overtime voluntarily worked between December 1992 and September
1998. Mr Williams had claimed he was owed£8,500 by the council.
Leaving court Mr Williams said: 'I'm only a little man and am up against the big battalions. However, this case was a point of principle and I was not prepared to give up. You cannot let
these things take over your whole life though'.
At Stoke County Court, judge Mitchell had found that as Mr Williams's
contract with the council did not require him to work overtime as part of the normal working week the council had been entitled to pay him only at plain time only rates.
In the court of appeal today, Mr Williams, who appeared in person, told the court that he began employment with the county council in December 1959 and was made redundant in
March 1999.
He argued before lords justices Tuckey and Pill that judge Mitchell had totally misinterpreted the national joint council for local authorities' Administrative, Professional, Technical
and Clerical Services Conditions of Service relating to his contract of employment and claimed that the judge was wrong in stating that he had acquiesced in payment to him of plain time
rates for overtime working.
However, dismissing the appeal lord justice Tuckey said that, although the judge had been wrong in finding that Mr Williams had agreed to the plain time payment, he had been entitled
to hold that under the terms of his contract Mr Williams had only been entitled to receive plain time rates for the overtime he had worked.
But the council was criticised by the court for the 'considerable changes' in the way it had put its case. In the circumstances its application for the costs of the appeal hearing to be
paid by Mr Williams was rejected and the court ordered that the costs which the council had been awarded in the County Court should be reduced by 20%, leaving Mr Williams with a
total legal bill of£3,500.
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