Here’s a story: A woman called Amy Betts-Priddy was made redundant by Turner & Townsend last year. Rather than just accept it, she took the firm to an employment tribunal last week, claiming unfair dismissal, racial discrimination and sex discrimination. At the hearing she told the tribunal panel:
- She was forced to work in a “degrading, humiliating and hostile” environment because she was a black woman.
- Stuart Hardy, a director in the contract services department, told her he hated Africa, where she was born (Hardy said he couldn't deny the allegation because he couldn't remember the event).
- She was forced to work without a desk (Hardy said everyone at the London office ‘hot-desked’)
- Hardy once asked why she wasn’t “married off at home”.
Unfortunately I found out about the tribunal the day after Turner & Townsend decided to settle, presumably thinking a further three days of evidence wasn’t going to do them any favours. As part of the settlement Betts-Priddy and Turner & Townsend both agreed to keep their mouths shut, so I've had "no comment" from both. Instead I have to rely on a hushed phonecall and reporting by Josie Hinton of the Camden New Journal.
So I’m writing this blog to find out more about the industry's redundancies. I'm asking you to get in touch if you've been made redundant, if you’ve got a tribunal coming up, if you’re struggling to find a job, or if you’ve just received an email from your boss warning of ‘restructuring’.
My email address is Andrew.firstname.lastname@example.org and my telephone number is 0207 921 8711.