Tribunal payout for BBC journalist denied promotion because of his union activities

A BBC journalist was probably overlooked promotion because of his union activities, an employment tribunal has found.

Ariel reports that National Union of Journalists BBC Arabic Father of Chapel Ahmed El Sheikh was denied promotion to a senior journalist post for “the main, if not the sole, purpose of penalising the claimant”.

Ariel reports that El Sheikh achieved a top score in the interview process to become a senior broadcast journalist and was recommended for the appointment after a six-month attachment. But an interview panel, led by former BBC Arabic editor Faris Couri, overruled the decision.

The tribunal said that Couri's reasoning was “overstated, exaggerated and… provided a very thin evidential basis for a fair and genuine assessment of his overall performance”.

It also said that El Sheikh was “extremely tenacious and determined” in job as a union official causing management “serious concern”.

After bringing a grievance El Sheikh was put on another six-month attachment as a senior broadcast journalist which ended in September when he was given the job.

The tribunal awarded him £2,000 for loss of earnings between the two attachments and £7,000 for injury to feelings.

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