This month saw another claim in the rising number of unfair dismissal cases determined in favour of gender critical employees. Professor Jo Pheonix, a lesbian who set up the Gender Critical Research Network at the university was found to have suffered victimisation, harassment, and direct discrimination by the Employment Tribunal this month. A colleague of the Claimant, who described her as ‘the racist uncle at the table’ over her views, had harassed the Claimant following her expressing her views at a Woman’s Place UK talk.

368 of the Claimant’s colleagues were found to have signed a Google Doc open letter to the university stating that the GCRN should be disaffiliated from the university due to the beliefs represented by the group and its members.  The Tribunal found that the conduct of the university had prevented the Claimant from expressing her beliefs, carrying out research, and that she had been constructively unfairly dismissed due to the university’s breach of trust and confidence in failing to prevent the campaigns to deplatform her.

While considering an appeal, the university stated that it would need to consider the freedom of speech of members of staff while balancing them against the legal rights and protection of others.