Workers fired by UK Environment Agency slam ‘feminist agenda’

A former Environment Agency civil servant told the Employment Tribunal that he was dismissed for refusing to follow its ‘feminist agenda’.

Kevin Legge, 50, who worked at the agency for 16 years, refused to agree with what he perceived to be a deliberate policy of promoting women over men.

At the preliminary hearing, Legg said he had discussions with Joanna Larmore, his line manager and head of the agency’s National Enforcement Service, in 2019.

In that provisional judgment (pdf), the court said Legg’s “dominant theme” was that senior managers at the Environment Agency were “pursuing a feminist agenda and seeking to appoint or promote women, rather than men, to managerial positions.” Stated.

Legge, who worked in the Peterborough office, claimed that his refusal to follow feminist tenets directly led to his dismissal.

He alleges unfair dismissal and sexism.

The Environment Agency was established in 1996 and is responsible for many areas such as flood management, pollution control and drought management.

he refused to “actively discriminate”

Legge said in court that he refused to “actively discriminate” against Larmour and refused to hire him because there were not enough female applicants.

He then challenged her when she blocked him from appointing a man as senior adviser “when he was the best candidate.”

The court said Legge’s case “has been a woman, [she] If he was a feminist, she wouldn’t have treated him this way. ”

Legge said the language and scoring in the agency’s interview process were “biased in favor of women over men in an attempt to actively discriminate regarding female candidates.”

He filed a complaint against his employer in 2020, but was fired for misconduct the following year.

The agency denied discrimination against Legg and told the court he was fired after discovering he had another job as a counselor.

The agency claimed Legg was working as a counselor during business hours, which “had a negative effect on his job duties.”

The agency’s attorneys asked the court to dismiss his claim, but a Norwich judge refused and ordered a full trial to take place in October.

Positive discrimination is not legal in the UK, but many government agencies and institutions try to create gender balance by encouraging women to apply.

2019 Matthew Furlong He took the Cheshire Police to employment court, claiming that he was denied a job as a police officer because he was a white, heterosexual male.

Cheshire Police said it applied positive action measures in line with the 2010 Equality Act to encourage workforce diversity.

Harron was later accepted into the unit.

Chris Summers


Chris Summers is a UK-based journalist with a wide range of national coverage, with a particular interest in crime, police and law.