UK Environment Agency’s Non-Feminist Manager Takes Employer to Tribunal For Promoting Women Over Men

UK Environment Agency's Non-Feminist Manager Takes Employer to Tribunal For Promoting Women Over Men
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Sacked after his employer unearthed his secret psychotherapist practice, a non-feminist manager faces defeat in his employment tribunal battle. Amidst accusations of sexist agendas and controversy over moonlighting, come unravel the extraordinary layers of this gripping case with us. Then, discover why promoting women in the workplace is crucial as we shed light on some eye-opening statistics.

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Non-Feminist Manager Suffers Employment Tribunal Defeat

Kevin Legge Opposes Feminism in the Workplace

Kevin Legge had worked for the Environmental Agency for over 15 years. In 2018, Joanna Larmour, who became Mr Legge’s supervisor, was employed to modernise the Estates Department.

Ms Larmour aimed to champion diversity and inclusion within the department, recognising the dominance of male senior staff. Unfortunately, Mr Legge held opposing views, rejecting feminism, which strained his relationship with Ms Larmour.

READ: Council Worker Uses Sick Leave for Second Job | Moonlighting in the UK [2023]

Their relationship continued to spiral when Ms Larmour conducted a performance review with the non-feminist manager in early 2020. She graded him as “approaching expectations” but believed he could meet his year-end targets, provided he took the appropriate steps. However, things didn’t go as planned, as Mr Legge wasn’t happy with his review and became uncooperative. 

As time passed, Ms Larmour worried he wouldn’t meet expectations, especially with childcare challenges during the first Covid lockdown. Consequently, she offered him “special paid leave” for 12 weeks to navigate the situation.

Secret Psychotherapist Practice Discovered 

Shortly after, Ms Larmour transitioned to a new role, stepping away from her current managerial position. One might have expected Mr Legge to be relieved she wasn’t his boss anymore. Instead, he filed a grievance against her, citing gender and discrimination.

During preparations for the grievance, Ms Larmour discovered online that the non-feminist manager was a practising psychotherapist. Since he hadn’t told the Environmental Agency about this, she informed his new manager of her finding.

Whilst the employer looked into this revelation, Mr Legge’s grievance was addressed. It was determined that the grievance would only be partly upheld, and he chose not to appeal.

Simultaneously, Ms Larmour’s revelation was confirmed, prompting the environmental agency to hire an inquiry agent to schedule a psychotherapy appointment. Despite being scheduled during Mr Legge’s work hours, the appointment proceeded as planned on 5 November.

Non-Feminist Manager Accused of Moonlighting

On 14 December, Mr Legge was accused of moonlighting. Although he admitted to practising as a psychotherapist, he denied doing so during work hours. Yet a subsequent investigation confirmed that he had, meaning he was suspended on 4 March 2021 and dismissed in April.

READ: TUC Urges Employers to Conduct Risk Assessment For Remote Workers As Many Suffer Physical Ailments

Mr Legge appealed the decision, but it was upheld on 9 June. The Environmental Agency cited misconduct due to dishonesty and fraud. For that reason, the non-feminist manager claimed to an employment tribunal. He alleged there had been an agenda to remove men in senior positions and that his anti-feminism views led to him being discriminated against.

Tribunal Dismisses Claims and Gives £20k Costs Order

Once proceedings ceased, the tribunal dismissed all of his claims. They not only determined that his belief wasn’t protected by the Equality Act 2010 (as it was incompatible with human dignity), but they also found that the treatment he received was unrelated to his sex or belief. 

The belief of the Non-feminist manager wasn't protected by the Equality Act 2010 ruled the ET. Whilst they said it was a genuinely held belief and more than an opinion, they weren't sure if it regarded a weighty aspect of human life or whether it was serious. Regardless though, they definitely believed it wasn't worthy of respect.

Instead, they concluded that he was “the author of his own downfall”, as his conduct and performance were the root causes of the situation. Adding to his predicament, he was subsequently ordered to pay the Environmental Agency £20,000 towards their legal costs. This came as the tribunal deemed his claims unreasonable.

Closing the Gap: Why It’s Time to Elevate Women in Senior Leadership

The case involving the non-feminist manager sheds light on an ongoing issue that demands attention. While feminism advocates for gender equality, workplace statistics continue to reveal a significant disparity between men and women.

Typically, men dominate more than half of the senior positions within a company. This indicates a crucial lack of diversity and representation, especially considering that women constitute 51% of the UK population.

Furthermore, as per the Office for National Statistics (ONS), full-time female employees earned a median of 7.7% less than their male counterparts in April 2023. This disparity only worsens when factoring in all employees, as women earned a median of 14.3% less.

In light of these disparities, it’s imperative for companies to take proactive steps. They must foster a culture that prioritises diversity and train staff to ensure they understand the significance of inclusivity.

If you have any questions or concerns about employment law, contact Redmans Solicitors now. They are specialists in the sector and could advise on how you could proceed following a quick consultation.

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