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The father is fired ‘because he would not fit in with millennial women’

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The father refused to work because he would not fit in with millennial women

Neil McClement, now 50, was rejected for the post in favor of a younger candidate (Photo: Solent News / Getty)

A middle-aged father has earned more than 7,500 in an age claim and sexual discrimination after being rejected for an NHS job because he would not fit in with the millennial women who had already worked there.

Neil McClement, 50, was rejected for the post despite being the highest-ranked candidate, in favor of a much younger female candidate.

A court heard that the team at Guys and St Thomas NHS Trust in London was mostly female and in her early 30s, with a doctor describing herself as a millennial on social media.

A hearing was told that they noticed that the father of two was not at all like the young woman he was going to replace.

Mr McClement was told by telephone that the decision was because his future boss thought it would be awkward to give instructions to someone so old as to have an 11-year-old daughter.

Now the trial panel, presided over by Judge Tony Hyams Paris, has ruled that he was a victim of age and sexual discrimination.

Police officers patrol the premises of St Thomas 'Hospital, operated by Guy's and the St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, where UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is taking intensive care after trying to shake covid-19, in the service of Homes Parliament in London, UK, on ​​Tuesday, April 7, 2020. The UK is facing a management crisis as it heads to the height of the coronavirus pandemic, with ??  Johnson in intensive care and his government under pressure to take control of the blast.  Photo: Hollie Adams / Bloomberg via Getty Images

He applied for a job at Guys and St Thomas NHS Trust (Photo: Getty)

The hearing in Croydon, south London, was told Mr. McClement who attended business school at Cambridge University was interviewed for work as a project manager in the NHS trust in July 2018.

The role that paid about 40,000 a year included helping the health service adapt technology faster.

The court heard that during his presentation Mr. McClement, who was 47 at the time, used visual aids, including a Minion backpack, with yellow characters from the movie series Despicable Me.

He explained that the Minions were characters of vivid, servile cartoons, accompanied by a soundtrack to the song Happy by Pharrell Williams, the court heard.

During their questions we found that the panel (interview) tried to establish (his) willingness to work for others who were younger than him and to perform more difficult tasks.

To this end, (he) was asked during his presentation Will you be a minion?

Mr McClement who has a long history in technology claimed he was asked if he would be willing to do mundane tasks or be a servile follower or subordinate of a person in power.

Compared to other candidates, Mr. McClement achieved the highest scores from the combined panel, which included Dr Charlotte Lee, whom he would report on, and Jenny Thomas, program director.

After the interview he and the other high-ranking applicant a woman in her 20s was introduced to other team members, including a woman named Rose, the judge told the court.

They were then asked what they thought of him as part of an exercise to see who would be most suitable.

As part of the evidence, the court was shown tweets from Rosa’s Twitter account.

(She) described her interests including social justice, feminist inequality **, the panel said. Many of the retweets presented to us were of a feminist or gender equality theme.

(A) retweet read London is the most diverse city in the UK, but women are still paid less than men and there are very few of them in leadership roles.

They also showed us (Dr. Lees) the Twitter account where she described herself as a millennial.

Comments made by the team included the question of whether Mr McClement was very experienced, if he was very old and how he was very different from the woman he was replacing.

The next day, after deciding to nominate the other candidate, Dr. Lee called Mr. McClement, from Spalding, Lincolnshire, to tell that his application was not successful.

(She) told him that a key factor in the decision was that (she) was uncomfortable asking you to do things given that you have an 11-year-old daughter, the panel said.

We concluded that the point (she) was saying that she would find it difficult to manage someone who was much older than her; the reference to the girl was to illustrate the point of maturity.

Supporting the claims of Mr. McClement on age and sexual discrimination, the panel concluded: We were concerned that conscious and unconscious bias was at stake and that their focus on finding the person who was most appropriate led them to consider factors that were discriminatory.

We did not think that (they) fully appreciated that the risk of going down that path was that they would be more inclined to choose a candidate who was more like them.

The NHS Trust was ordered to pay Mr. McClement who is now the chief executive of the health charity Haemochromatosis UK a total of 7,580.14 as compensation.

An additional claim for failure to make a reasonable adjustment due to a disability was rejected.

Contact our news team by emailing us at [email protected]

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