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I thank delegates for voting for the following emergency motion at conference on 17 May 2007.
‘This Conference instructs the National Committee to request a response from Kate O’Neill on the issue of holiday pay for Financial Advisors under the old contract.’
It was good to hear Merdy Briggs state from the platform that holiday pay and consequential pension loss remain a live issue for advisors. This is because of an Employment Tribunal decision given of 12 March 2007 stating the CIS underpaid holiday pay to agents from 1998 through to 2005. Should the decision be upheld at the Employment Appeal Tribunal later this year this means the CIS underpaid staff many millions of pounds.
The key issues for Kate O’Neill to report on are
Stakeholder pension case
In the same way that the CIS have arguably underpaid thousands of staff holiday pay, I maintain it is reasonable to argue that the CIS have also illegally taken many millions of pounds from policyholders. This is because the CIS was operating a differential bonus policy in favour of stakeholder pension policyholders at the expense of other with-profit policyholders. This was a differential bonus policy and the Equitable Life case is a precedent which may make the practice illegal. I have commenced a county court claim against the CIS on the issue and the CIS have said the claim is of ‘potentially wide application on matters of policy for all financial services providers’. USDAW challenged the practice when it was introduced. Like holiday pay, I maintain this is an issue USDAW should support. This is because I argue the stakeholder subsidy has reduced CIS policyholder payouts. This does not help financial advisors sell CIS products.