Wales

ONS told to pay woman £19k after sex discrimination case

ONS Newport entrance Image copyright Jaggery/Geograph
Image caption Ms Renowden worked at the Office of National Statistics in Newport

A woman has been awarded £19,000 after it was found the Office of National Statistics (ONS) denied giving her a promotion because of her sex.

A tribunal in Cardiff found Olwen Renowden, an experienced economist, was not interviewed for an ONS job which was awarded to a less-experienced man.

Ms Renowden began working for the ONS in 2016 and had more than 20 years of experience working as an economist.

The ONS said it was considering the ruling "very carefully".

Ms Renowden had worked at a "grade six" level at previous roles in London, including in the Bank of England and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and in February 2017, two positions of this standard were advertised in the ONS.

Less experience

She was rejected for both roles in April 2017, with no explanation, and in June 2017 it was announced the jobs had been given to two young men who had never worked at that level previously or specialised in macro-economics.

The men had less than six years of experience compared with Ms Renowden's 20.

A third role was later created and given to another man.

Ms Renowden resigned in 2018 and her case was heard at an employment tribunal in January.

'Real difference'

Employment Judge Wayne Beard found "favouritism" existed towards male staff and gender balance was "not properly understood".

Ms Renowden said she hoped the result would make a "real difference".

Sue Ferns, of the Prospect union, said: "This case reveals a shocking lack of diversity among economists at ONS and what seems like the deliberate overlooking of female candidates in favour of men."

The ONS said: "The ONS values the contributions of all its people and is continually working to support everyone in progressing their careers. We are considering the ruling in this case very carefully."

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