Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland until I return to the Murcia region of Spain in the Autumn for a month or so
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Friday, 5 May 2006

Banker with HSBC 'not sacked for being gay', but ...

He had received less favourable treatment because of his sexual orientation, an employment tribunal ruled on Friday. Reuters report that "The tribunal criticised HSBC's initial investigation of allegations against Peter Lewis and upheld four out of his 16 claims against HSBC, the world's third largest bank."

The Tribunal said, in its 68-page judgement on a complaint brought by former-HSBC employee and global equity trading business:


"We have decided that there are facts from which the tribunal could conclude ... less favourable treatment on the grounds of sexual orientation but ... the decision to dismiss was not in fact influenced by ... sexual orientation."

The bank said that whilst it was pleased that the Tribunal had rejected [what it described as] the main points of the claim, it is quoted as saying that it was "disappointed and surprised by the adverse findings of the tribunal on four of the sixteen points of Mr Lewis's claim". A similar report to the Reuters report I refer to above is here from the BBC, although the quotes they attribute to the Tribunal give a slightly different 'flavour':


"The decision to dismiss is wholly attributable to a genuine and legitimate conclusion that (he) was guilty of the gross misconduct alleged."

But it concluded that there had been four counts of "unlawful discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation" in the way his dismissal had been handled. This included his treatment from an HR manager and a separate "hearsay" allegation made against him.

I surmise that the Tribunal has probably reached a fair and balanced judgement, and that all parties (including HSBC) will just have to live with this and learn the lessons for the future.

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