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Dentons could face SDT over dismissal of recruitment manager while on maternity leave

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Bina Hale was made redundant just months after giving birth

London City

The largest law firm in the world is facing a possible showdown with the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) after it made a staff member redundant just months after giving birth.

Bina Hale, a former recruitment manager at Dentons, won a claim of sex discrimination and unfair dismissal in an employment tribunal in December 2017. The court heard how there were two other recruiters who were earmarked for redundancy, but were kept on after being judged to be more professional. Hale was given her marching orders while on maternity leave.

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Much of the tribunal’s criticism of Dentons at the time focused on notes made during the redundancy process. The judgment revealed a member of the HR team had met with Hale on three separate occasions but “destroyed” handwritten notes documenting the encounters. The tribunal also described evidence provided by Hale’s line manager as “muddled and unconvincing” and “not credible”.

It has now emerged Dentons could face further repercussions over Hale’s dismissal after it confirmed the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) was considering referring it to the SDT. A spokesperson for Dentons said:

“We are pleased that all the individuals named in this matter have been cleared by the SRA from further investigation and prosecution. However, we are disappointed the SRA is considering referring the firm to the SDT, based solely on the fact of the employment tribunal’s original judgment, as we are committed to a working environment free of discrimination. Diversity and inclusion, as well as the highest standards of professionalism, are both very important priorities for the firm.”

The spokesperson, continuing, stressed that it had since reviewed its maternity and “family friendly” policies. The SRA declined to comment.

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23 Comments

Rusty Trombone

Lmao

(3)(2)

Anonymous

Dear Fionnghuala,

We are leaving the EU.

GIRFUY

VOTE LEAVE, TAKE CONTROL

(1)(1)

Anonymous

So great to be almost out of the EU. Counting the days now.

(1)(1)

Anonymous

“we are committed to a working environment free of discrimination. Diversity and inclusion, as well as the highest standards of professionalism, are both very important priorities for the firm.”

Not according to the court, but why not trundle out some waffle.

(17)(0)

Anonymous

Even more committed to the shredding of notes.

(15)(0)

Anonymous

Men and Women deserve the same amount of time off after having a child.

(16)(1)

Anonymous

I agree. Two weeks ought to do it.

(5)(4)

Anonymous

Two weeks? F*ck that. Allow them to take up to 2 months, unpaid of course.

(4)(1)

Anonymous

F*ck two months. Why not two years? All unpaid and with commitments to promote them on their return.

(0)(1)

Steven Seagull

Men don’t have children.

(1)(0)

Man

I have a child

(0)(0)

Other Man

I have two.

(0)(1)

Disgusted

How can this firm have any credibility? Destroying disclosable material!
Behaving abhorantly.
I hope the SDT sanctions the firm and those responsible.

(7)(0)

Anonymous

Do you think they will kill them or just ask for 500 million in costs?

(0)(0)

One stone

Why on earth is the SDT getting involved in an employment matter? The SDT should be arbitrating on misconduct by solicitors, not employment disputes with someone who happens to work for a law firm (and is not even a lawyer).

(8)(2)

Anonymous

Perhaps you should read the details about the conduct of the firm in this matter. It’s not just that they had a dispute with an employee.

(3)(1)

Anonymous

Being pregnant/on maternity leave seems to leave people thinking they’re invincible. You can’t be let go BECAUSE of the choice you’ve made to have a child, but making that choice doesn’t mean you can’t be let go at all.

(8)(1)

Anonymous

You can’t touch me because I AM A MUMMY!

#protectedspecies
#mustphotographeverythingthechilddoes
#youwouldntundetstandbecauseyourenotaparent
#didimentionmychild?
#ihavespecialrightsasididbareback

(12)(2)

Anonymous

Why don’t we just arrange all professional matters around women’s preferences, desires, and interests and have done with it. It’s almost too tiring and boring to deal with on a case by case basis.

(3)(0)

White middle class man

Not all women have the same desires and interests misogynist.

(2)(1)

Anonymous

Yeah but let’s just focus all our efforts on satisfying them whatever they are

(1)(0)

Anonymous

The tribunal also described evidence provided by Hale’s line manager as “muddled and unconvincing” and “not credible”.

SOUNDS LIKE EVERY SOLICITOR EVER

(2)(0)

Anonymous

The firm clearly had bad advice as to the merits of its defence and whether or not to take this matter to the Tribunal. Given its hopeless defence and the certainty of the fact that crucial evidence had been destroyed being made public, the firm should have been advised to settle. This is bad news for Dentons on a number of fronts. Would you value their judgment of how to handle a dispute?

(0)(0)

Comments are closed.

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