From education to employment

Colleges and training providers at risk from serial litigants making speculative job applications

Law firm Pinsent Masons has highlighted the growing problem of serial litigants who are exploiting discrimination legislation for financial gain. The firm warns that colleges in the FE sector are vulnerable unless their recruitment practices are water-tight.

The warning follows a ruling just handed down by the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) against serial litigant John Berry. Mr Berry, aged 54, scours the internet for job adverts calling for a ‘recent school leaver’ or ‘recent graduate’ and then brings an age discrimination claim. In most cases the employer settles for a few thousand pounds to avoid litigation. In this case, however, he was ordered to the costs of the employers he had sued.

The judgment in this case (Berry v Recruitment Revolution& Others) is intended to send a message to serial litigants that they should not seek to profit from the legal system. However, it also serves as a lesson to employers to make sure recruitment practices are robust and recruitment policies are implemented correctly.

Click on the image below to hear more from Jenny Wilson, an employment lawyer with Pinsent Masons, who advises on the case.

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