Al Jazeera tribunal claimant blocked

A former head of planning at Al Jazeera has had part of her case against the broadcaster dismissed in a pre-hearing review by an employment tribunal.

Jo Burgin had taken the broadcaster to tribunal on the grounds of unfair dismissal, and a number of allegations of discrimination.

Al Jazeera International had requested a pre-hearing review to consider if the tribunal had jurisdiction to hear Burgin’s claims, who worked across four broadcasting centres worldwide, including London.

The tribunal, which heard the review on 6 December 2007 and 10 January this year, found that Burgin performed a sufficient percentage of her work in Great Britain for her claims on the grounds of sex, racial and religious discrimination to proceed.

But it found that the claimant did not meet a different test to further her unfair dismissal claim, because she was ‘effectively focused on the business… primarily conducted in Doha, Qatar’rather than Al Jazeera’s London office, according to the tribunal.

Burgin’s role as head of planning involved managing the planning department in all of Al Jazeera English’s broadcast centres in Kuala Lumpur, London and Washington, and at its central hub in the Qatar capital Doha.

A story in Press Gazette on 21 December wrongly stated that Al Jazeera director of news Steve Clark was a claimant against Al Jazeera in an employment tribunal.

This was incorrect, he has been with the company for several years, having led the recruitment of nearly 500 journalists, and he continues to run their news operation.

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