Tony Shiret, known as ‘the Godfather of retail’ claimed that former employer, Credit Suisse, which made him redundant in June 2011 at the age of 55 after 18 years with the bank, had favoured younger employees.
The firm claimed Mr Shiret was made redundant as part of cuts in the equities department, however the former employee stated that the redundancy procedure was “pre-selected without any consultation, weighted against him and inherently unfair”.
He also said that the points system set up to determine who would stay was ‘fixed’ and in favour of a colleague in his thirties.
Speaking to a London Tribunal, Mr Shiret said:
“It is apparent that I was targeted for redundancy whilst my younger subordinate was given some form of assurance that he would progress in his career. It will be seen these scores were inherently unfair and were tainted by age discrimination.”
In response, the bank ‘vigorously denied’ his claims but was found to have acted in a ‘discriminatory and unfair way’ when judging their former employee.
In a ruling handed down at the end of July, Employment Judge Brown said that Steven East, co-head of the pan-European equity department, acted in a “discriminatory and unfair way” when rating Mr Shiret’s performance.
She also referred to emails in which reference was made to “knifing” Mr Shiret.
“The tribunal finds that Mr East was not a credible witness when talking about these emails. He did not make eye contact. He gave brief answers and appeared to be uncomfortable.”
Following the verdict, Mr Shiret said he was happy with the ruling and that Credit Suisse would be ‘held account’ for the way it had treated him.
Commenting to Times, he said:
“I think that you have to give people a chance to demonstrate that they can still do a job and not assume that, once they reach a certain age, they cannot do a job for you.
“The other side can argue that, in this case, it was a screw-up. But if you read the judge’s ruling, it looks more systemic.”
A spokesman for Credit Suisse said:
“We are disappointed by the decision. Credit Suisse is an equal opportunities employer and does not condone discrimination on any basis.
“Having had an opportunity to review and consider the judgment, we have decided to appeal.”