The BBC Loses Discrimination Case

25th March 2011
The BBC Loses Discrimination Case image

The BBC Loses Discrimination Case

Recently an Employment Tribunal found in favour of Miriam O’Reilly’s claim against the BBC based upon the grounds of age and sex discrimination.  Miss O’Reilly (51 years of age) was a presenter on the BBC programme Countryfile, but she lost her job to a younger woman (Julia Bradbury aged 40).  The older male presented (John Craven aged 68) was retained.  The BBC had moved the show to a more “prime-time” slot and as part of a “make over” Miss O’Reilly lost her job.

The evidence presented on Miss O’Reilly’s behalf included reference by her colleagues to her wrinkles and her grey hair.

In its defence the BBC claimed it wanted to ensure that its presenters reflected the diversity of its audience.  The Tribunal however held that it had acted unlawfully in putting too much emphasis on youth.

Daven Naghen, head of our Employment Team commented as follows:-

“This case actually highlights the provisions in the new Equality Act 2010, which says that claims can be brought on a basis of combined characteristics.  These provisions are not yet in force, but will allow an employee to identify any two of the protected characteristics (e.g. sex, age, race, disability, gender reassignment, religion or belief, marriage/civil partnerships and pregnancy/maternity) in order to allege discrimination arises because of the particular combination and not because of one of the protected characteristics in isolation.

Hence when these new provisions come into force claims like Miss O’Reilly’s will be even stronger as they can be expressed as arising from the combination of two protected characteristics (e.g. as in this case age and sex) rather than from either of these alone.

If you need advice about the Equality Act 2010 and/or discrimination claims then please contact Daven Naghen on 01775 722261 or

Dementia Friends image

Dementia Friends

Maples Solicitors are proud to announce that they have now joined to become Dementia Friends which is an Alzheimer’s Society initiative.

The private client department of Maples Solicitors prepare Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney on a regular basis and this often involves dealing with clients who are suffering from dementia. The private client team pride themselves on spending as much time as is necessary to assist all of their clients, but those suffering from dementia often require additional assistance and time to ensure that they have fully understood the legal documentation that they are creating. The private client department are regularly complimented on the way they deal with such clients, whether this be explaining things to them in a clear and uncomplicated manner, spending time with them or putting them at ease.

It is a misconception that anyone suffering from dementia cannot make a Will or Lasting Power of Attorney. Only if someone lacks sufficient mental capacity are they unable to make such a document. It is therefore vitally important upon any diagnosis of dementia that legal advice is taken as soon as possible to make sure that your affairs are in order so that it is easier for your family to deal with your affairs if you are unable to do so yourself.

To become Dementia Friends, Maples Solicitors have pledged to develop their understanding of dementia and continue assisting clients suffering from dementia with their legal affairs in a respectful, friendly and efficient way that is not daunting making the process as easy as possible.

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