Even before the first hearing of her claim to the Watford Tribunal Ms Keane was left in no doubt that her claim would fail. This letter from Judge Metcalf of the Watford Tribunal and shows this arrogant man’s ageist and sexist views.
To be clear, all of the advertisements complained of carried requirements that discriminated on grounds of age but Judge Metcalf makes it very clear that he, and as we will see, the Tribunal, had decided that a 50 year old woman, or indeed one even approaching 50 years old, has no right to complain of discrimination in recruitment because they believe that some roles should be reserved for younger candidates.
1. Mr Metcalf says; “In most professions posts advertised as suitable for newly= or recently- qualified tend to be at rather lower salaries….” Mr Metcalf could clearly see that the roles complained of by Ms Keane were certainly not a the lower salary levels expected to be awarded to newly- or recently-qualified but that they carried premium salaries that were the envy of more experienced professionals. The roles Ms Keane complained of had salaries of between £55K and £60K and the kind of benefits that Ms Keane would have been very happy to be offered. Neither Mr Metcalf nor Judge Ryan could be persuaded from this view by the evidence!
2. Mr Metcalf says that; “it is perfectly possible for a newly-qualified accountant to be 25 years old or 50 years old”. Mr Metcalf knew that this was wrong! Statistics were available to show that most newly qualified accountants were in the age band 29 to 32. During the Pre Hearing Review in April 2008, Judge Gay clarified that, on the basis of the statistics provided by the claimant no one could dispute that “newly-qualified” or “recently qualified” would mean someone under 35 years old.
3. Mr Metcalf says “…needs to apply for junior positions in order to work full-time”. Again Mr Metcalf knew this to be wrong! It is inappropriate to call any role that requires a fully qualified accountant a “junior role”. One is entitled to apply for any position that one wishes to and there are no finance roles that are specifically suited to someone “newly qualified”. All qualified accountants have matching skill sets (which they are required to keep updated through CPD). It is perfectly possible for someone with 10 years experience to be a “Bank Reconciliation Analyst” and for someone with 1 years experience to be a “Financial Controller”. The roles Ms Keane had applied for here were paying between £55K and £60K and she would have happily performed one of these roles had she been put forward and offered a suitable position.
4. Mr Metcalf says “why can she not apply for full-time posts suitable for candidates who have demonstrated their competence at more senior levels?”. Ms Keane had shown that she had applied for over 100 positions in that year alone and that she had not been even considered for any full-time role. Ms Keane had complained about being rejected for roles that did not even require experience because she felt these demonstrated discrimination age more clearly.
5. Mr Metcalf finally says “Of course, there may be good reasons..” We believe that it was inappropriate for Judge Metcalf and the Tribunal to have made up their minds at this early stage and going through the motions of hearing this case was a waste of everyone’s time and tax-payers money. Judge Ryan who heard the case in November 2008 confirmed that he totally endorsed everything Judge Metcalf says here.
We believe that neither of these two men should be allowed to continue to hear age discrimination or sex discrimination cases
|Rage against Discrimination in Accountancy Recruitment (Accountancy RADAR)|
We will have to fight the Employment Tribunal Judges as well as the Recruitment Agencies to get these regulations applied.
Judge and Daily Mail Reporter and Mr Linstead arrive at £100,000 settlement story
In this case it is the Tribunal (Judges Ryan and Metcalf) who refuse to recognise that the law has changed and who want to defer applying the new regulations. The question in this case is: are the tribunal (in this case Judge Ryan) in the best position to say who is a “genuine job seeker” and what is a genuine attempt to expose the flaws in our justice system?
Judge Metcalf sent a letter before he heard any details of the case warning the Ms Keane her case would fail
Judge Ryan had personal reason for preserving the status quo
Serial litigation, in Ms Keane’s case was valid, there was a legitimate grievances which the Tribunals have failed to recognise. Ms Keane wanted to show how widespread this kind of discrimination was. She could not provide a comparator by showing that applications from people who appeared to be younger because she would then be accused of making bogus applications and this would have breached her professional ethics
Judge Ryan called Ms Keane a serial litigator
Ms Keane’s hearing was delayed from April 2008 until November 2008 so that Judge Gay would be free to take the case. However when the case was heard at the tribunal in
Judge Ryan said that he fully endorsed Judge Metcalf’s assessment and it seems his antipathy towards this case went even further.
Judge Ryan said that he had a son who had recently graduated from BrunelUniversity and he implied (or maybe even expressed the fact) that if people with experience were allowed to apply for any role they wished (including one’s that required less experience than they possessed) then this would disadvantage people like his son.
On the final day of the case it is not clear if it was Judge Ryan himself who contacted the Daily Mail reporter; the reporters misstatment of elements of the case suggests it was.
Even though Judge Ryan knew from the file in front of him the exact number of settlements Miss Keane had made with agencies and in 2 cases the amount of these settlements. Judge Ryan pretended that he believed that Ms Keane had accepted settlements in all cases, ignoring the information that 8 cases had been withdrawn with no settlement. Thus he mislead the Daily Mail reporter into believing that there had been about 12 settlement of between 4K and 7K and thus they manufactured between them the story reported by the Daily Mail that Ms Keane had made £100,000 in settlements. Ms Keane had received a much more modest sum of £16.8k all of which had been used to pay her legal fees, she was due to receive a further £6.5K which she used to pay to appeal judge Ryan’s judgement.
Judge Ryan used his position to try to reveal information that he hoped would damage Ms Keane’s future career.
After just hearing Ms Keane’s evidence in her case and before the recruitment agencies had given evidence Judge Ryan made clear that he wanted the case settled. He indicated to Ms Keane’s representation that she should accept an offer from the agencies. The agencies offered Ms Keane £5000 to withdraw her case at this stage. However, Ms Keane wanted the Tribunal to judge the case and refused this settlement. This really incensed Judge Ryan and he made a judgement that because Ms Keane was 50 years old (at the time of the hearing) she did not have any right to bring a claim to the tribunal. He said that she should be considered to be “not a genuine job seeker” and he then ordered that she should pay the costs of all 5 recruitment agencies which amounted to a sum of approximately £150,000.00 at this stage; the amount to be assessed in the County Court.
Judge Ryan deliberately exaggerated Ms Keane’s age which was 48 years old at the time of bringing her claim and in any case her actual age was irrelevant since her claim was that people over 38 years old that were being discriminated against. Judge Ryan then went on to make several more statement that he knew to be untrue, e.g. he said that he did not believe she had applied for any of the roles which Ms Keane had claimed she did apply for, Judge Ryan said this despite having evidence in front of him showing emails and correspondence regarding each of the positions.
Judge Ryan seems to believe that all he has to do is to show that a woman is over fifty years of age to demonstrate that she is no longer entitled to the human rights afforded to the rest of society and that she can be discriminated against and refused employment and that she should not feel that she has any right to complain if this happens.