back to article Ex-TalkTalk infosec exec's equal pay and unfair dismissal claims tossed out at tribunal

A former Talktalk infosec exec has lost her unfair dismissal and equal pay claims against the UK telco after an employment tribunal rejected her case. Rebecca Burke's attempt to claim that she was underpaid compared to her colleagues failed after the London Central Employment Tribunal ruled that she did different work to them …

  1. IGotOut Silver badge

    Hmmmm...

    "I'll be consulting with advisers, family and friends before taking any decisions on what comes next."

    Yes, when it comes to complex legal cases, always best to ask friends and family if you should appeal.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: always best to ask friends and family

      Well, maybe, especially if the asking goes like this: "Do you mind if I risk my/our savings on legal bills by appealing this case? Here's my lawyer's opinion".

      .

      ObKennyRogers: "you gotta know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em, know when to walk away, know when to run [and/or ask gran :-)]..."

    2. baud Bronze badge

      Re: Hmmmm...

      I wouldn't ask friend and family for legal advice (unless they're qualified), but maybe checking if they'd be able to support me (financially or not) during the trial.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "running TalkTalk's cybersecurity operations"

    I wouldn't want that on my CV.

    1. Persona Silver badge

      Re: "running TalkTalk's cybersecurity operations"

      I don't know. You could class it as real world experience. It certainly would get you interviews if only to satisfy curiosity.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "running TalkTalk's cybersecurity operations"

        "It certainly would get you interviews if only to satisfy curiosity."

        Yeah, great! There you are job hunting / looking for the next contract and you get an "interview" because they are curious about a previous company you were involved with.

        As someone who's worked for an "interesting" company / industry, been there, done that... please don't waste my time! It costs me real money through loss of day rate to take time to interview you.

        AC PSC

    2. macjules Silver badge

      Re: "running TalkTalk's cybersecurity operations"

      Me neither.

      "Dear Ms Burke, Thank you for your recent application to run BT's cybersecurity operations but unfortunately we are unable to offer you this position. Have you considered a career at British Airways cybersecurity operations?"

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "running TalkTalk's cybersecurity operations"

        "Dear Ms Burke,

        Thank you for your 17,893 emails but we are not interested in Cialis, Viagra or meeting lonely housewives in our area. Please remove us from your list or uninstall the Trojan installed on your PC.

        Thanks"

  3. Persona Silver badge

    Basic Salary

    When you are talking about people with a basic salary of £110,000 it is very very unlikely that they would be doing exactly the same job.

    1. Gordon 10 Silver badge

      Re: Basic Salary

      Yes. But I would have thought you could argue that the CISO role is very similar to a Divisional CTO role.

      110k is low for a CISO role. Remains to be seen if she was actually in A CISO role of course....

      There’s some evidence to the contrary :D

      1. Persona Silver badge

        Re: Basic Salary

        ..... CISO role is very similar to .......

        I've met with dozens and dozens of CISO's. Other than the title, about the only thing in common was that they all did very very different jobs.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Basic Salary

          So if a company says 'people are our greatest asset' do they have to pay the HR more than the chief engineer?

  4. Mr Dogshit
    WTF?

    HOW MUCH?

    1. You aint sin me, roit
      FAIL

      Don't ask how much Dido got...

      She managed to trouser 2.8 million in 2015, the year that TalkTalk profits halved because of one of the cyber attacks that occurred while she was at them helm, which also resulted in a record fine for a security breach.

      With performance like that she should be in the House of lords, and a non-exec director of the Bank of England...

      What's that you say? Mates with Cameron?

      1. Handlebars

        Re: Don't ask how much Dido got...

        The NHS snapped her up. I haven't heard anything from her during the pandemic, which is probably for the best.

  5. K

    "Previously in charge of a £20m project to roll out fibre-optic"...

    I shuddered when I read this. They effectively dropped in a Project Manager, to lead up their SecOps team... that was car-crash just looking a brick wall.

    1. osakajin Bronze badge

      Re: "Previously in charge of a £20m project to roll out fibre-optic"...

      But a "very very capable" one.

      1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

        Re: "Previously in charge of a £20m project to roll out fibre-optic"...

        they do love to josh

    2. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

      Re: "Previously in charge of a £20m project to roll out fibre-optic"...

      A project manager paid over £100k to manage a £20m project: Sounds like they were overpaid anyway.

  6. Commswonk Silver badge

    They effectively dropped in a Project Manager, to lead up their SecOps team

    I came on to say much the same thing, although I would not have said "effectively" because that's exactly what they did. In fact the move proved to be ineffective.

    Square Peg meets Round Hole.

    Again.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Talk Talk 2018 ?

    Seems she was overpaid.

  8. Gavin Park Weir

    If TT was in any doubt in their case they would have settled before the tribunal. They might have played a game of brinksmanship but they would not have risked the CEO in the dock...

    The cost of the tribunal woul have been ten of thousands of pounds in lagal fees let alone the distraction for the senior staff.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @"let alone the distraction for the senior staff."

      ha, more like senior staff willing to waste "tens of thousands of pounds" to avoid being in the spotlight and/or having to answer difficult questions like "who thought this was a good idea?"

      My personal experience with project managers is that there is a lot of varience in their technical competence. Some requiring several different others to do all the technical assessment each with their own technical blind spots and bias. The best were the ones that could do the technical assessment as well as arrange for everything to occur at the right time, sadly many non-technical managers see project management as a chargable checkbox that, they feel, requires more relating to them than the actual task to be managed

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: @"let alone the distraction for the senior staff."

        "My personal experience with project managers is that there is a lot of varience in their technical competence"

        You miss the point then.

        The JOB of a project manager is to ensure the project is on schedule and on budget. If they recognize their deficienies and have assistants that's fine, but the problem is quite simply that there are a lot f "Project Managers" out there who I'd be surprised if they could organise a drinking session in a brewery without it being 6 weeks late and the drinks being 20 times normal price. (If they can organize it at all)

        We've had a number of issues where "Project Managers" were the PROBLEM preventing projects from actually getting done and to a (wo)man they were the ones with the most meetings and the shiniest presentations saying everything was going tickety-boo, oh how wonderful....

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    > "Having been made redundant in 2017"

    I'm amazed it took them 2 years to get rid of her. I'd have thought that she'd have been sacked in 2015 for gross negligence. It's shocking that 4 million customer records can be stolen, and the person in charge of security isn't given the boot as a result.

    1. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: > "Having been made redundant in 2017"

      "I'm amazed it took them 2 years to get rid of her."

      I'm not. I've run into this kind of employee before and what happens is that you have to document EVERYTHING and ensure every I is dotted, T crossed and then double chcked before you get rid of them, because they may well be grossly incompetent but they're also bush lawyers and they're frequently better at the latter than the work they're supposed to be doing.

      These are the people who will acively look for/find a loophole in Covid rules to suit their personal agendas and bollocks to the health&safety of anyone around them. It's entirely me me me.

  10. Wibble

    Has this got anything to do with gender "equality"?

    Admittedly we weren't there nor do we have the facts. It is hard to see what a small rollout project has got to do with information security, especially to a company who suffered so badly as a result of security blunders.

  11. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

    A failed crowdfunding bid...

    I'm pretty sure that a failed crowdfunding bid is fairly solid confirmation that the world doesn't care about you or your cause.

    And I agree. Pay your own f**king legal bills.

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