Want to talk to an expert employment law solicitor?

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

In the case of Mrs C Degnan v BP Services International Limited 3302969/2015 the Employment Tribunal (the “ET”) held that the employer had not withheld payment of enhanced redundancy pay (to be paid via a settlement agreement) because the employee had threatened to bring an Employment Tribunal claim.

The facts in Mrs C Degnan v BP Services International Limited

Mrs Degnan commenced employment with BPO Services International Limited (“BP”) in May 2007 under a ‘global employment contract’; her first assignment was to Azerbaijan in 2007.

In October 2009 Mrs Degnan became pregnant; she took 12 months’ maternity leave and then became pregnant again in 2010. She took a further 12 months’ maternity leave and was absent from work until April 2012.

On 10 April 2012 Mrs Degnan was assigned to the BP Exploration Operating Company Ltd, based in Sunbury, UK. The assignment was for a period of three years and was due to expire on 9 April 2015.

Mrs Degnan took a third period of maternity leave in May 2013, returning to work on 22 September 2014. Prior to returning to work Mrs Degnan asked to work part-time hours.

In early 2015 BP carried out a review of its workforce and came to the conclusion that 10-20% of roles should be removed. A redundancy process commenced in January 2015 and on 19 January 2015 Mrs Degnan was informed that her role was at risk of redundancy. Leigh-Ann Russell chaired the redundancy process, scoring Mrs Degnan 9 out of a total of 15 points.

On 23 March 2015 Mrs Degnan was informed that she had not been placed in a new role and was still at risk of redundancy. In June 2015 Mrs Degnan was offered a new role in the Backbone Work Management Process and Technical Specialist Organisational Learning role team. Mrs Degnan rejected this role as she did not believe it was suitable for her. She was subsequently informed that “[BP] do not pay redundancy in relation to people who refuse job.” Following BP’s policies, Mrs Degnan was subsequently dismissed without a redundancy payment on 20 July 2015.

Mrs Degnan subsequently made Employment Tribunal claims for unfair dismissal, automatic unfair dismissal, and pregnancy-related detriment.

The decision of the Employment Tribunal

The Employment Tribunal rejected Mrs Degnan’s claims for the following reasons:

  • The dismissal was not unfair, either substantively or procedurally – her dismissal was for the reason of redundancy, a fair procedure was carried out, and efforts were made to find Mrs Degnan suitable alternative employment after her position was made redundant
  • Mrs Degnan’s dismissal was not related to the taking of her periods of maternity leave – the scoring was not discriminatory and Mrs Degnan was given every opportunity to succeed in her role
  • The decision to withdraw a settlement agreement, and withhold redundancy pay, was not related to claims for pregnancy and maternity discrimination that Mrs Degnan had threatened, but was following a well-established policy on the part of BP – the Employment Tribunal therefore rejected the claim for victimisation

Our solicitors’ views on the case of
Mrs C Degnan v BP Services International Limited

Chris Hadrill, the partner in the employment department at Redmans, made the following comment on the case: “This case shows that it may be difficult for employees to succeed in arguing that their dismissal was discriminatory when the employing organisation is following established rules and policies.”

The decision of the Employment Tribunal inMrs C Degnan v BP Services International Limited 3302969/2015 can be found here

About

Redmans Employment Team deal with employment matters for both employers and employees, including drafting employment contracts and policies, advising employers and employees on compromise agreements, handling day-to-day HR issues, advising on restructures, and handling Employment Tribunal cases for both employers and employees Call 020 3397 3603 to speak to one of the members of our employment team or email us on enquiries@redmans.co.uk. Redmans have offices in Richmond, Chiswick, Hammersmith, Fulham, Kingston, Wimbledon, Ealing, Kings Cross and Marylebone (meetings strictly by appointment only).

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

    4.81 Average

    324 Reviews

    Mark Q

    Five Stars I was most impressed by the attention, courtesy, speed and above all, professionalism in dealing with my Settlement Agreement. I would certainly have no problem in recommending this firm to anyone in need of their services.

    Posted 1 day ago

    Ade A

    I was surprisingly impressed by how Redmans Solicitors handle my case. From the moment I call them to the absolute end of my case, they always look after my best interest.

    Posted 3 days ago

    Malcolm P

    they were there when others were not

    Posted 1 week ago

    Anonymous

    Excellent service all the way through from start to finish. Really great support and guidance from the team, they secured the offer that I wanted. I can't recommend Redmans highly enough and will be sure to use their services again should the need arise.

    Posted 1 week ago

    Anonymous

    Efficient and quick service!

    Posted 3 weeks ago

    Karen B

    Quick response very helpful Issue raised dealt with very quickly

    Posted 3 weeks ago

    Carmen T

    Redmans give Great service and advice on reading contracts. They can explain all the solicitors jargon into words that you can understand. I received excellent service an I will use them again and again.

    Posted 3 weeks ago

    Anonymous

    Very grateful for Mel’s efforts in handling my case from start to finish which I would have found very stressful without it. She was very professional, friendly and we had a positive outcome. Highly recommend.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Nalin W

    Mel Chin was my Legal Executive when I engaged the services of Redmans Solicitors to help with a redundancy matter. She was incredibly approachable and professional from start to finish. Specially I have to mention regarding prompt reply to all my email queries, It was super quick. I would thoroughly recommend Mel Chin. Many Thanks

    Posted 1 month ago

    Anonymous

    I'd highly recommend Redmans Solicitors. Mel was very helpful and assisted me throughout my case.

    Posted 2 months ago

    Anonymous

    Sacha was very thorough and very helpful, with great advice on when to act and when to wait on my case.

    Posted 2 months ago

    Anonymous

    I have been very pleased with the support I got from Redmans Solicitors on my case with my employer. Caroline has always helped me to put things in perspective and showed me different scenarios ultimately to help me taking the right decision. She was very professional and always available when I needed, and at the same time also emphatic which I found also really important to establish a strong relationship. Will definitely recommend!

    Posted 2 months ago

    Anonymous

    Prompt and efficient response to my enquiries. Excellent negotiating skills with my employer which considerably improved the terms of my settlement agreement.

    Posted 2 months ago

    Anonymous

    Very quick and professional service , Rana was very helpful

    Posted 2 months ago

    James G

    Very professional, knowledgeable and kept me informed at every stage of my case. I would highly recommend Redmans.

    Posted 2 months ago

    Pravina P

    Chris was really good and help solve my issues with current company. I would recommend him to anyone.

    Posted 2 months ago

    Paul L

    Sacha was extremely helpful in my matter. I would not hesitate you use Sacha or Redmonds again. Everyone was very helpful.

    Posted 3 months ago

    Monique N

    I had Mel Chin helping me with a settlement and she was very professional and reliable throughout my case. Mel provided me with a good understanding of what was happening and gave suggestions on routes I could take. My case was resolved and closed promptly although the opposing side were very difficult to deal with. A very big thank you to Mel and Chris.

    Posted 3 months ago

    Jackie C

    My first ever experience needing the services of a solicitor; cannot speak highly enough of Mel and Chris’s personable, reassuring and straight to the point advice in dealing with my settlement agreement. They put me at ease during an extremely stressful time. I am equally as happy with the outcome, as l am their professional services.

    Posted 3 months ago

    ""

    Really happy with the service. All very efficient. Mel rattled through things very fast, however was great whenever I needed to stop and ask a question! Would definitely return to Redmans if I ever needed Legal advice.

    Posted 3 months ago

    Peter F

    Very helpful and clear advice, would highly recommend.

    Posted 3 months ago