Every employer’s worst nightmare? It would seem that Annabel Karmel (she of how to feed your children properly fame) was accused of sexual harassment and racial discrimination by an ex-employee. Charges that she has vehemently denied and which were subsequently retracted as part of a settlement reached just prior to the tribunal hearing.It would appear from the media reporting of the case that the allegations were made falsely and maliciously by an employee who has previously attempted to bring tribunal claims against two other employers. If that is the case then we have huge sympathy with Annabel Karmel as to be subject to such allegations is hugely distressing as well as costly to defend.

However, as part of the settlement reached, both parties were obligated not to make any public comment on the matter. Something that she has now decided not to adhere to once the story was leaked to the press and she felt the need to defend her reputation. Is that the right thing to do? What would you do in her position? Is a dignified silence (and staying within the confines of the legal agreement made) the better option?

She is also calling for a public register of employees who have brought previous tribunal claims whilst others are calling for an overhaul of the tribunal system to prevent vexatious claims being made. The essence of justice is a right to fair hearing even if the allegations are not upheld, so this seems a tricky thing to achieve without interfering with basic human rights.

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