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 daven.naghen@maplessolicitors.com.


Cancer Research UK Free Will Service image

Cancer Research UK Free Will Service

Maples Solicitors are pleased and proud to announce that it is working in partnership with Cancer Research UK to offer their Free Will Service for the over 55’s.

The vast majority of people have been affected in some way by cancer and we wish to support Cancer Research UK in its life saving work by offering their Free Will Service.

Over a third of Cancer Research UK’s research is funded by gifts in Wills and we believe we can play a vital role in helping in the fight against cancer. Writing your will for free using the scheme could help beat cancer sooner.

Please contact a member of our Wills and Probate Department:-
Jamie Dobbs- jamie.dobbs@maplessolicitors.com
Jane Mawer- jane.mawer@maplessolicitors.com
Faye Blair- faye.blair@maplessolcitors.com

Or telephone the office 01775 722261 and ask to speak with one of the team

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