RAC women seek payout

THE RAC Club, which is selling its breakdown services to an American company for pounds 450m, has been accused of sex discrimination for refusing to pay women members a pounds 35,000 windfall that will go to their male counterparts.

"Lady executive members" at the 12,000-strong club are considering taking legal action after being told they are not entitled to a payout that will be given to "full members" under the RAC's sale of its motoring services division to Cendant.

Stephen Alexander, a senior partner at Class Law, the solicitors' firm representing the women, said yesterday: "This may be in breach of European human rights. It is contrary to natural justice to discriminate against people merely because they are women. As far as I am aware this is the largest case of financial loss ever suffered by anyone purely on the grounds of sex."

Gill Carrick, who joined the 100-year-old gentlemen's club 14 years ago, is one of 11 "lady executives" who always considered themselves to be full members. Ms Carrick, of the head-hunting company Goddard Kay Rogers, joined as a corporate member when it was trying to raise money for its Pall Mall headquarters. After the club stopped accepting corporate members, Ms Carrick understood that she - like her male colleagues - had become a full member. She said yesterday: "I have always regarded myself as a full member and I have duly paid my subscription. I feel they have misled me."

Catherine Needham, vice- president of investor relations at the investment bank Salomon Smith Barney, is in the same position. She said: "I have been a member since 1981. It never occurred to me that I was not a full member. I have been paying the same rate as the men."

Edmund King, of the RAC, said yesterday that the women were not entitled to any money because they were not full members. He said that it was nothing to do with their sex.

He added: "The legal case is quite clear. Ms Carrick doesn't have a leg to stand on. She was never a full member."

Overseas members of the club who have been excluded from the payout and widows of full members have also protested against the decision. The High Court has ruled that only full members of the RAC Club are eligible for the pounds 35,000.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Operations Manager

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: I am currently recruiting for an Operati...

Project Coordinator/Order Entry, Security Cleared

£100 - £110 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Project Coordinator/Order Entry Ham...

Senior Digital Marketing Executive

£35000 - £45000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based i...

Junior Developer- CSS, HMTL, Bootstrap

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: A leading company within the healthcare ...

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
Boris Johnson's war on diesel

Boris Johnson's war on diesel

11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
5 best waterproof cameras

Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

Louis van Gaal interview

Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

Will Gore: Outside Edge

The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz