PracticeAccounting FirmsKPMG settles in tribunal case

KPMG settles in tribunal case

A Big Five firm has been forced to make a six-figure pay-out following accusations of sex discrimination by two female accountants.

An employment tribunal this week heard the two women, working with KPMG liquidators, had missed out on bonuses when a male colleague, who did the same job, was handed Pounds 172,000.

But the tribunal was halted on its second day after an undisclosed ‘out-of-tribunal’ settlement was agreed, believed to be more than Pounds 100,000.

Emma Thomas and Angela Sheeran both worked with KPMG on the liquidation of Libra Bank of Equador between the early 1990s and 2000.

But the tribunal heard they discovered male colleague Thillilampalam Ganeshwaren, who performed similar work, had been rewarded with two bonuses, totalling Pounds 172,000 between 1997 and 2000.

Sheeran sued KPMG and four other respondents for sex discrimination, breach of contract and breach of part-time working regulations, at the employment tribunal in Reading.

She claimed Pounds 234,000 from the liquidator of Eula Finance Plc, Roger Smith, liquidator of Libra Bank Plc, Tony McMahon, Eula Finance Ltd and Libra Bank Plc, as well as KPMG itself.

Sheeran said that she and colleague Thomas were told by KPMG in May 1999 that it was ‘not policy to pay bonuses anymore’.

The five respondents claimed Sheeran never got a bonus because it was not written into her contract.

In a statement, KPMG said: ‘The parties are pleased to have been able to settle all issues under dispute on an amicable and mutually satisfactory basis.’

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