So much confusion in the reporting of the President’s Club debacle when it comes to the legal rights of the harassed hostesses!
In practice, but for the FT report, the story was unlikely to see the light of day but let’s get a few things straight. The Times has said that Tribunal fees are a deterrent for sex discrimination claims – but they were abolished following a Supreme Court decision last summer that found them unlawful. So that wasn’t the problem. Non-disclosure agreements are also blamed for preventing women calling out bad behaviour at work. Of course it’s shocking that the women signed detailed confidentiality terms and couldn’t keep copies, but no confidentiality agreement can prevent anyone from disclosing criminal offences, nor making sexual harassment claims or seeking protection as whistleblowers.
The actual problem is this: there can be no doubt, the calling out of harassment of this nature would be classified as whistleblowing and you can see how sexual harassment claims could be brought. But sadly, the law is complicated and the damages too little for anyone to have wanted to take the risk of making made a stand. So thanks to the FT for uncovering the story!