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X v. Brighton & Hove

The following is an original article created from the Press for Change press release for T-Vox, as well as from subsequent email and internet sources.

X, a special needs teacher, with assistance from the Equal Opportunities Commission has successfully taken Brighton & Hove City Council to Employment Tribunal.

X v Brighton and Hove City Council (2006)

The following is the press release as received via Press for Change.

Council victimises and discriminates against transgender ex-employee by disclosing previous identity in a secret reference. Brighton and Hove City Council and one of its senior managers were found by an Employment tribunal (ET) to have discriminated against and victimised a former employee on grounds of gender reassignment.

The individual, assisted at the ET by the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC), had their identity protected by the Tribunal. X claimed lost opportunities to obtain work when a senior line manager at the Council revealed X’s change of gender and former name to a recruitment agency.

The line manager delayed responding to X’s request for a reference; sent the agency a secret faxed memo disclosing X’s former name, stating X’s previous gender, and referred to X as both “he or she”, “him” and “her”; revealed to the agency that X had previously raised proceedings alleging discrimination; and offered to have further telephone conversations with agency staff about X. The Tribunal held that the Council, and X’s former line manager, had victimised and directly discriminated against X.

It was only after X had contacted the agency directly some months later, because the agency had refused to provide X with any work, that X discovered the existence of the secret fax. The Council had failed to reveal its existence when originally asked to by X.

The Tribunal also found that both the Council and the manager had further discriminated against and victimised X by refusing a second time to provide X with a reference for another post a year later; and by refusing to hear X’s grievance over the second refusal. The Council also refused to use existing Criminal Records Bureau procedures for transgender people, and ignored EOC guidance on the employment of transgender people.

A hearing to consider the appropriate compensation in the case will take place in 2007, more than 3 years after X first asked for a previous employer reference from the Council. In the meantime the Council have applied for a review of the Tribunal’s decision and have filed an appeal at the Employment Appeal Tribunal.


From material on the internet.

In June 2007 the Brighton Employment Tribunal ordered Brighton and Hove City Council to pay compensation of £34,765.18 to a former employee, in a case supported by the Equal Opportunities Commission. The identity of the teacher is subject to a restricted reporting order by the Tribunal.

Although the Council applied for a review of the ET’s findings of discrimination and victimisation, and then lodged an Appeal, both were unsuccessful.

As well as awarding the teacher compensation of £34,765.18 for her loss of earnings and injury to feelings, the Tribunal made a recommendation that the Council provide any prospective employer or employment agency with a non-discriminatory reference.

Further update

From a PFC email update.

A cross party petition has been set up to get Brighton & Hove City Council to disclose the Public Interest question of how much Public Money they spent fighting two un-winnable Employment Tribunal cases against Natasha Thoday (revealed after the case as ‘X’), a transgender teacher. She was supported by the Equalities and Human Rights Commission in her 4-year fight to get an employment reference.

See Also

External Links

  • Report on the Equalities & Human Rights Commission (CEHR) web site.
  • Original report by the Equal Opportunities Commission (a legacy commission of the CEHR).
  • Comments by local councillors and journalists here.
  • Context in Brighton here.