2012 Olympics IT supplier defends human resources employee’s unfair dismissal claim

The human resources chief at 2012 Olympic IT supplier Atos Origin has given evidence to an employment tribunal hearing an unfair dismissal claim brought by a member of his team.

Mrs A Smith claims that she was unlawfully made redundant from a position training and inducting graduate recruits when the firm switched to a business partnering model.

The tribunal heard yesterday how Atos, which has a contract to supply IT infrastructure to the London 2012 Games, used ‘Project Darwin’ in 2006 to strip £1.1m of costs from the HR department.

But Kevin Wilkinson, senior vice-president of HR for Atos UK, told the panel that the training department was unaffected at that time. He said Smith’s selection for redundancy some months later was “correct, fair and appropriate”.

Her role was made redundant in early 2007 as the company no longer required it, he said.

Wilkinson denied Smith’s claim that she was told a similar role had been filled internally and so was not available.

Smith has yet to give evidence at the central London hearing, which is expected to conclude later this week. An age discrimination claim was dropped before the hearing began.

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