Seven responds: “We reject completely the claim we do not act fairly”

Seven has this afternoon issued a longer statement following 7:30 broadcasting audio of a meeting in which cadet journalist Amy Taeuber was suspended by a Human Resources manager.

Seven statement:

Amy Taeuber and Seven entered into confidential settlement deed earlier this year.  Because it is confidential, we cannot disclose its terms. It was comprehensive in terms of all allegations and claims.

On the processes involved:

  1. Amy was not sacked because she made a complaint about anyone.
  2. Her complaint was fully investigated and resolved.  A public apology was issued by the person and he now works another newsroom.  Seven has policies in place on appropriate workplace behaviour.
  3. Amy was not sacked during the telephone call which she recorded and which was broadcast on 730 last night as the ABC has suggested. She was suspended and given a chance to respond to the allegations.  It is customary practice that employees under investigation be suspended.
  4. Following that telephone call, allegations about Amy’s conduct were fairly put to her in writing and she was asked to respond in writing and stood down during the interim to allow her time to do that.
  5. Amy immediately sought legal advice and was represented throughout by her lawyers.
  6. Amy responded to the allegations through her lawyers.  Meetings were held and letters were written.
  7. Amy’s employment was eventually terminated 2 months later after taking into account the responses which were given.

There was an investigation into alleged breaches of Amy Taeuber’s employment contract.

Seven’s HR team did not try to build any case against her and their investigation was not related to any complaint made by Amy about other staff.  

The program broadcast on 7.30 on Monday night on the ABC was neither accurate nor balanced. The allegations aired were not put to Seven for reply.

Had they been, Seven would have made clear that the termination of employment was made pursuant to a breach of contract, and the former employee was represented by two successive firms of lawyers and the union.

It is untrue to say that she was not represented. The matter proceeded to mediation, where she was again represented, culminating in a deed of release which contained a confidentiality provision. 

We are surprised by the allegations six months after the signing of a mutual agreement and settlement. Her complaint was fully investigated and resolved.  A public apology was issued by the person who has been transferred to another newsroom. Nothing of this issue was raised by her law firms at the time.

The program broadcast on 7.30 on Monday night on the ABC was neither accurate nor balanced.

The allegations aired were not put to Seven West Media for reply.

Had they been, Seven would have made clear that the termination of employment was made pursuant to a breach of contract.  This did not occur during the recorded conversation broadcast by the ABC last night, but many weeks afterwards following meetings and discussions when the former employee was represented by two successive firms of lawyers and the union. It is untrue to say that she was not represented.

The matter proceeded to mediation, where she was again represented, culminating in a cash settlement and a confidential deed of release. 

Seven has a long history of providing career opportunities and promotion of the more than 2,500 women who work for the organisation across Australia.  We reject completely the claim we do not act fairly and supportively at all times with members of our staff. Being a supportive employer that promotes and demands a caring workplace befitting a creative company, Seven will not tolerate standards that fall short.

On the MEAA statement today: We look forward to discussing the issues raised by the MEAA and the facts of this specific matter as soon as possible.  It should be noted that Seven News has been at the forefront of a successful cadet program which has seen the graduation of seven cadets over the last year to become reporters with the network.  Seven West Media has a program in place to promote young people across all of its platforms.

6 Comments:

  1. Isn’t it ironic?

    The struggling network (Ten) hasn’t got any PR crisis issues at present.

    On the other hand, the two higher rating networks (Seven and Nine respectively), have had their fair share recently:

    -Tara Brown
    -Amber Sherlock
    -Tim Worner
    -Amy Treauer

  2. From the available evidence , I would say that channel seven was in a compromised situation. Since the government has given FTA a free kick, free spectrum, and free everything else, I would say they need to suspend channel sevens licence until proven innnocent.

  3. In some firms (and I”m not saying Channel 7 as I don’t know the circumstances) but in some firms Human Resources is there to help the employee, but more often to protect the company. So it’s always hard to know who to believe.

  4. This whole situation is super dodgy, first Seven’s fiasco with Amber Harrison and the CEO having an affair and now this! Seven has a culture problem they need to fix

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