Kentish Town lawyer makes appeal for ‘exploited’ Olympic workers to speak out

A Kentish Town lawyer is backing the cause of a Swiss Cottage man who claims he was underpaid and unfairly dismissed while working for an Olympics sub-contractor.

Elizabeth Nolan, head of employment law at JFH Law in Kentish Town Road, has given pro-bono advice to the man, who worked as a traffic marshal outside a five- star central London hotel in the run-up to the Games.

She appealed for others to come forward in the hope of launching a group action industrial tribunal against the sub-contractor of an official supplier to Olympic authority LOCOG.

The man’s claim includes an allegation that he was not paid the LOCOG guaranteed London Living Wage of �8.30 an hour and was sacked ten days into an eight-week contract when he complained.

He has launched a claim against his employer for unlawful deduction of wages, automatic unfair dismissal and breach of a fixed term contract. The tribunal is due to be heard on December 17.

Ms Nolan told the Ham&High: “Failure to pay the agreed rate is unacceptable but to withhold pay entirely due to a legitimate complaint being lodged is appalling and entirely unlawful.

“If workers have put in long hours during the Olympics for what they were told was a reasonable rate of pay, and then discover part-way through a contract they were in fact going to be paid significantly less – and if they dared to complain face instant dismissal – that would be outrageous.”

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The man, who wishes to protect his identity, claims he and fellow marshals were told verbally on their induction day on July 6 they would be paid �9 per hour. When he got his pay slip ten days after starting work, the rate was �7. He also says his timesheet said he worked 86 hours when he did 92.

Others contacted by the Ham&High said they didn’t wish to join the action for fear of repercussions.

A spokesman from LOCOG said: “LOCOG and all contractors, where feasible, will pay the London Living Wage. This is part of their contractual agreement to pay this. The agreement is direct with our contractors, not with subcontractors.”

The contractor, sub-contractor and the firm that managed the payroll for the sub-contractor refused to comment.