Want to talk to an expert employment law solicitor?

You'll receive a callback from a specialist within an hour

A teacher formerly employed at an independent school in Northampton has lost her employment law case for unfair dismissal and direct sex discrimination at Bedford Employment Tribunal.

Ms Sarah Cameron (“the Claimant”) commenced employment with Quinton House School as a music teacher in 1991. She alleged that problems started for her in January 2009 when Mr Geraint Jones joined the school as the new headteacher. Ms Cameron claimed that Mr Jones was immediately cold and distant towards her and believed that Mr Jones had drawn up a “hit list” of teachers that he wanted to marginalise or dismiss. She further felt “isolated” by Mr Cameron’s decision to move her music classroom away from the main campus. Further, Ms Cameron complained that Mr Jones had criticised her nose stud and overworked her by placing her in charge of a homework club on Friday afternoon when she was only supposed to work half a day.

The law relating to constructive (unfair) dismissal

In order to have succeeded in a claim for constructive (unfair) dismissal Ms Cameron would have had to have demonstrated on the balance of probabilities that, first of all, she met the test for constructive dismissal. She would therefore have had to have demonstrated that there had been a breach of her contract of employment, that this breach “went to the root” of her contract of employment, that the breach was sufficiently serious to justify her resigning, and that she did not leave too long a period between the breach and her resignation. Once Ms Cameron had met this test on the balance of probabilities she would have had to have demonstrated that she was unfairly dismissed. This is normally a relatively easy bar for Claimants to hurdle as a fundamental (unilateral) breach of their contract of employment is generally not fair.

The law relating to direct sex discrimination

In order to have succeeded in a claim for direct sex discrimination Ms Cameron would have had to show that she was treated less favourably than other comparable male staff members because she is female. The problem for Ms Cameron in the circumstances was that the Employment Judge believed that the root cause of the treatment that Ms Cameron received was not her gender – he simply wished to make the school more efficient and treated all teachers (male and female) alike to achieve this. Ms Cameron wasn’t therefore treated less favourably than other teachers and (if she had been treated less favourably) the Employment Tribunal would probably have found that her less favourable treatment wasn’t because of her gender.

The Employment Tribunal’s decision

The Employment Tribunal dismissed the Claimant’s claims for sex discrimination and unfair dismissal. They found that she had been fairly dismissed (there seems to be no comment on whether she met the test for constructive dismissal) and that she had not succeeded on the balance of probabilities in demonstrating that she had been directly discriminated against.

Want to talk to an expert employment law solicitor?

You'll receive a callback from a specialist within an hour

Share →

Our awards

Request a callback

    Your first name (required)

    Your last name (required)

    Your email (required)

    Your telephone number (required)

    Brief details of your enquiry

    Testimonials

    4.79 Average

    273 Reviews

    Mark M

    I found Redmans very easy to work with. Mel was very responsive, her advice led to an improved settlement. . Recommended.!

    Posted 1 day ago

    Anonymous

    Fantastic service. I would recommend Redmans to anyone who needed a Solicitor. The communication was second to none and consistent clear guidance was given.

    Posted 3 days ago

    Anonymous

    Everyone I dealt with at Redmans were professional, empathetic & always responded promptly and helped make the transition as smooth & efficient as possible for me. If you need legal advice, don’t hesitate & contact the team.

    Posted 5 days ago

    Anonymous

    Sacha was incredibly helpful and professional. Timely and accurate advice at a time I most needed it. I was extremely impressed and grateful.

    Posted 5 days ago

    Sue W

    The people at Redmans talk to you with respect and make you feel like they take your situation personal. They clearly care and are extremely professional. I have recommended Redmans to many people.

    Posted 3 weeks ago

    Anonymous

    Redmans Solicitors were consistently prompt, efficient and professional from the start of my reaching out to them for support in relation to contentious negotiations of an employment matter that continued for almost two months resulting in a positive settlement agreement. Chris Hadrill was diligent, thorough, empathetic and objective in his advice and guidance, showing deep and broad knowledge of the law and legal processes plus extensive practical experience in handling complex matters, resulting in clear and pragmatic advice in ambiguous circumstances that resulted in a very good outcome. I fully recommend Chris Hadrill and Redmans Solicitors! I have made this review anonymous purely because of the confidentiality obligations in the settlement agreement concluded.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Michelle W

    Redmans solicitors provided legal support and advice for a settlement agreement. Excellent customer service, very professional. The senior associate solicitor kept me updated throughout the process, showed empathy and the agreement was signed-off / completed within the agreed timeline.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Mark W

    Redmans Solicitors were extremely professional and helpful! Chris Hadrill handled my case and was an amazing help! His guidance, advice and understanding to my redundancy settlement were always clear, concise and very helpful and I am very grateful to him, and glad I found Redmans to help with my settlement. I highly recommend them!

    Posted 1 month ago

    Alison M

    Very happy with the advice I received

    Posted 2 months ago

    Margaret A

    I found everything about the company to be extremely professional and efficient. During my initial contact with Chris, he listened well and was reassuring, so I felt confident that my case would be well handled. Caroline was excellent at explaining all the legal points and answering my questions, as well as being very supportive and understanding throughout the process. I would definitely recommend this company.

    Posted 2 months ago

    Sanja K

    Very efficient and professional service.

    Posted 2 months ago

    Anonymous

    I found the advice I was given by Redmans Solicitors to be clear and useful and found the solicitor on my case to be both knowledgeable and approachable.

    Posted 2 months ago

    Karen T

    Great service. Thank you.

    Posted 2 months ago

    Anonymous

    Excellent service from Chris & Mel Chin. The best outcome was achieved from the redundancy process. They were extremely thorough, listened carefully and acted swiftly on my behalf. I highly recommend Redmans Solicitors

    Posted 2 months ago

    Shanine M

    Excellent service, thank you so much!

    Posted 2 months ago

    Anonymous

    I found Caroline and Chris very Helpful and provided excellent service. Caroline especially provided great legal advice and made me feel at ease with the whole process. I would highly recommend them. Thank you!

    Posted 2 months ago

    Gayle B

    Excellent company very professional would definitely recommend

    Posted 2 months ago

    Alex K

    Redmans provided an excellent service, timely and effective. Will definitely recommend.

    Posted 2 months ago

    Anonymous

    Great job done on my employment law

    Posted 2 months ago

    Dominica S

    Caroline & Chris were very prompt and efficient.Very happy with the service and will definitely recommend Redmans Solicitor to everyone !

    Posted 2 months ago

    Sandra K

    If you are looking for a group of solicitors who are Professional, Caring and on point, then look no futher than Redmans. I was literally hand held through out my case. Can not find fault with this company, very happy with the result and the service i received. Would highly recommend Redmans.

    Posted 2 months ago