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Gosden loses tribunal as pregnant head ‘lad’ wins case

Home Forums Horse Racing Gosden loses tribunal as pregnant head ‘lad’ wins case

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  • #19420
    cormack15cormack15
    Keymaster
    • Total Posts 8783

    Full story here

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/horseracing/8702970/John-Gosdens-pregnant-head-lad-wins-tribunal-claim.html

    Gist –

    ‘Mr Gosden, one of the racing world’s most respected trainers, was accused of sex discrimination and unfair dismissal after he made Julia Bocan redundant in March last year.’

    ‘Mr Gosden introduced a performance chart to make redundancies amongst the 74 staff at his stables’

    ‘Miss Bocan claimed that Mr Gosden specifically designed the staff performance chart so that she would score the lowest marks and be sacked. The panel of judges agreed.’

    ‘The employment tribunal, in Bury St Edmund’s, Suffolk, rejected her claim that she had suffered sex discrimination at the hands of the 60-year-old Newmarket trainer.
    But the panel found that Mr Gosden had acted unlawfully in selecting Ms Bocan for redundancy.’

    #368170
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    • Total Posts 17727

    what the hell is a pregnant women working with horses for? if a horse kicked her then she would of sued him for losing her baby i agree she should have lost her job for safety reasons . and with money tight these days how can he pay her while shes off and pay a new person to take her place everyone who works in racing should be self employed to stop all this

    crap

    #368172
    cormack15cormack15
    Keymaster
    • Total Posts 8783

    So there should be no employment protection for pregnant women in racing RoyalRock?

    Does that sentiment extend to pregnant women outside racing?

    #368174
    Crepello1957Crepello1957
    Participant
    • Total Posts 710

    I suppose we will never hear the full story but I am surprised that women in the racing industry are not entitled to paid maternity leave, I thought it was a statutory legal requirement.
    Also Gosden always seems so nice I am surprised & disappointed.

    #368176
    Scamperdale
    Member
    • Total Posts 83

    what the hell is a pregnant women working with horses for? if a horse kicked her then she would of sued him for losing her baby i agree she should have lost her job for safety reasons . and with money tight these days how can he pay her while shes off and pay a new person to take her place everyone who works in racing should be self employed to stop all this

    crap

    I’m assuming she wasn’t pregnant when she took the job.

    As for sacking her because she’s pregnant, well I’m afraid the law is pretty clear on that one. ‘Money is tight these days’ is no excuse and rightly so.

    I don’t think stable staff could be self employed by the way. Owners enter into contracts with trainers, if they staff were all self employed, I’m pretty sure the owners would have to enter into contracts with all of them.

    The story doesn’t specify when exactly Gosden found out she was pregnant either. I only bring that up because if it’s within the first 12 weeks, you normally wouldn’t tell your employer because that’s when most miscarriages happen.

    #368182
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    • Total Posts 17727

    Pregnant women should not be working with horses . i am not saying working in racing at all . but not with horses Jesus they do kick very hard you no… is it worth the risk of getting kicked. and if people do think women should work with them while pregnant then they need a reality check big time.

    #368194
    Roseblossom
    Member
    • Total Posts 350

    Mary King was nearly 6 months pregnant when she was part of the gold medal winning British eventing team in 1995. I know a fair number of women who continued to ride well into their pregnancies and worked around horses as long as they were able to do so.

    #368201
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    • Total Posts 17727

    What would the headlines be if she was kicked and lost her baby?

    you cant just ring an agency to get a temp in horse racing.
    to be a top head lad its a skilled long term job.

    why should he risk upsetting horses when she returns and the person he employed to take her pace leaves? they would be confused. and probably risk the whole setup of the yard and coming to end of season he was right to do what he did IMO

    people always jump to conclusions but maybe it was for her own and horses benefit.

    H R H Princess Haya Of Jordan is the main owner of the yard so i doubt he would risk discriminating women do you.

    #368202
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    • Total Posts 17727

    What would the headlines be if she was kicked and lost her baby?

    you cant just ring an agency to get a temp in horse racing.
    to be a top head lad its a skilled Job .

    people always jump to conclusions but maybe it was for her own and horses benefit.

    H R H Princess Haya Of Jordan is the main owner of the yard so i doubt he would risk discriminating women do you.

    #368206
    cormack15cormack15
    Keymaster
    • Total Posts 8783

    The finding was that she was unfairly dismissed, not that there had been any sex discrimination. He was cleared of that.

    Whether she should or shouldn’t work with horses when pregnant is irrelevant. What

    is

    relevant is that there are clear rules on how you are allowed to dismiss people (and they are very easy to break, as JG has found out).

    #368240
    andyod
    Member
    • Total Posts 4012

    Is this the same person ,(correct me if I am wrong)who came up with incredible stories to justify letting Johnny Fortune go in order to appoint William Buick? If so I am not surprised he concocted excuses to let this young lady go.

    #368256
    PurwellPurwell
    Participant
    • Total Posts 654

    Oh, for the good old forelock tugging days, when you could send kids up your chimney and women knew there place!
    Treatment of stable staff in general in lots of yards has barely reached the 20th century, let alone the 21st.
    Not that this industry is alone in it’s treatment of employees, more and more employers are seeking ways and means of circumnavigating employment law. Short term contracts and using casual labour are some of the more obvious tactics, but I personally have also seen cases of what is rather euphemistically called "constructive dismissal" which in reality amounted to downright bullying.

    #368281
    KenhKenh
    Participant
    • Total Posts 738

    As a former HR Manager and now a Trade Union representative I find cases like these very interesting. I am still always amazed at how ignorant some employers are of the law or how bad the legal advice they receive is.

    It would be good to see the whole judgement but there is a bit more detail here.
    http://www.eadt.co.uk/news/trainer_sack … y_1_995248

    It appears from reading that she was targeted before she became pregnant and the pregnancy could be a red herring. If the tribunal had found that she was dismissed for being pregnant she would almost certainly have won a sex discrimination case based on the fact that only women can become pregnant. It appears that the case surrounds the fact that the selection process used was awful and she had already been selected before she became pregnant, whether this was because she had stated she wanted to become pregnant we don’t know. There are strict guidelines and laws that need to be followed when selcting for redundancy and it seems these were not followed.

    One of the main reasons the selection was unfair was that Gosden appears to not have even consulted those who had been shortlisted as he is required to do by law.

    Judge Warren said Miss Bocan was not consulted until after she had already been provisionally selected, listing seven areas she was not consulted on at all, including what the criteria for selection would be.

    He said: “Above all, it is clear that a decision had been made from the outset that it was Miss Bocan who would go.

    “It appears that the selection criteria adopted was to ensure that Miss Bocan would be the person who would score the least.”

    Judge Warren said the criteria apparently adopted were in the large part subjective and none appeared to be aimed at the skills and abilities of any of the individuals under scrutiny.

    He said the scoring appeared to have been skewed entirely towards experience because the respondent was targeting Miss Bocan.

    He added: “The process was carried out entirely in secret. The very fact that no-one else named on the selection score sheet was told of the process, and that they were being scored in this way, reiterates that the whole process was a sham.

    “Indeed, when the other employees were provided with a letter inviting them to volunteer for redundancy, they were told not to discuss it, and they were told that someone else had been provisionally selected.”

    These laws to protect employees are there for a very good reason and that is to protect employees. That is only right and proper. There is no reason whatever that the horseracing industry should be any different to any other industry. It seems to me that some people think that people who work in stables should not have the same rights as anyone else. Of course I could be wrong here they probably just think that no employee in any industry should have any rights.

    #368322
    jinnyj
    Member
    • Total Posts 141

    What I am slightly amazed by this whole case is that Gosden’s wife, Rachel Hood is a barrister. Its not as though he can pull the old HJ trick – "Oh I didn’t know the rules!" when all he had to do was have a word with the missus!

    Actually trainers are sent reems of paperwork on a regular basis from the National Trainer Federation outlining every single employment rule and regulation. And the NTF couldn’t be more helpful if you need advice. So he should have known waht he was getting into. Although how much some trainers have to do with paperwork is debatable. Gosden, himself, had a secretary who stole over £40k from him by inventing a new lad and paying herself his wages!! Presumably how she got away with it for so long was by the same clever way she stayed out of jail – clever talk – she blamed her husband being an alcoholic!

    I’m sure however there is more to this story. Gosden is an intelligent man and its odd he fell into this situation.

    #368359
    wit
    Participant
    • Total Posts 2152

    more than that, the wife seems to be the other partner in John Gosden Racing LLP – presumably the employing entity ?

    http://www.thehorsemensgroup.com/rachelhood.html

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