Australian Investment banker was unfairly dismissed but not discriminated against by German bank, say tribunal

Banker claimed he was pushed out by “Germanification” of company
|Canadian Employment Law Today

An investment banker’s claim he was dismissed by his German employer because of his nationality has been quashed by a U.K. employment tribunal.

Malcolm Perry, 45, who is Australian, worked as the global head of fixed income and credit in the London branch of Dresdner Kleinwort, a bank owned by German financial services corporation Allianz. The bank underwent a major restructure of its operations in 2006 but left Perry, who had a senior management position, out of the loop.

As part of the restructuring, there was an increase in the number of German and German-speaking managers hired. In mid-2006, Perry’s position was made redundant and he was fired. Perry sued the bank for almost $20 million, claiming he was discriminated against based on his nationality.

The bank refuted the claim, saying Perry’s position was legitimately eliminated and there was no role for him after the restructuring. It added his nationality was “irrelevant.”

The tribunal found Perry had been treated “less favourably” by Dresdner Kleinwort than some of his German-speaking co-workers, but the treatment fell short of discrimination. It agreed the restructuring legitimately made his position redundant.

However, the tribunal did find Perry had been unfairly dismissed because the bank didn’t consider him for other positions.

Perry was disappointed in the decision but acknowledged the difficulty in trying to prove discrimination based on nationality.

A hearing will be held early in 2008 to determine the amount of damages for unfair dismissal, which in the U.K. are capped at about $130,000.

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