David Connett

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David Connett first worked at the Sunday Times in 1985, but left in 1989 after a dispute about the editing of an investigative story involving the deaths of IRA operatives in Gibraltar.[1]

Connett, who worked as a casual for the newspaper, subsequently took the paper to an employment tribunal for unfair dismissal. He claimed notice pay and redundancy pay as well as £87,000 in lost earnings since he left the paper.[2]

According to Stephen Brook, writing in The Guardian, Connett told the tribunal that he had agreed to work as a casual at the paper in case any of his investigations turned problematic:

A senior Sunday Times investigative reporter remained a casual employee so that if the paper was caught out it could deny its Insight team was dealing in "black arts" and stolen property, an employment tribunal has heard.
David Connett, a former member of the Sunday Times Insight team who has taken the paper to the employment tribunal for unfair dismissal, said he was deliberately "kept off the books" by the paper in case any investigations turned sour.
Connett told the tribunal in Stratford yesterday that he was a senior member of staff but did not have a contract and was paid as a casual. He did not have a staff email, nor was his name on the Sunday Times staff directory, so that if anyone called for him his listing would not appear on the switchboard.
He said the agreement to be a casual employee was made with Dean Nelson, the then editor of Insight, when he joined the paper in July 2003 to work on the investigative team.[3]

Connett won his unfair dismissal case and the Sunday Times agreed to pay him £30,000. The tribunal ruled that the newspaper had not followed proper procedures in its dealings with Connett.[4]

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  1. Stephen Brook 'Insight cull 'saved Sunday Times £300,000' guardian.co.uk, Thursday 20 April 2006 15.26 BST
  2. Stephen Brook, "Insight cull 'saved Sunday Times £300,000'", The Guardian, 20 April 2006, accessed March 24 2009
  3. Stephen Brook Insight reporter 'deliberately kept as casual' guardian.co.uk, Friday 21 April 2006 07.09 BST
  4. Stephen Brook, "Connett wins case", The Guardian, 21 April 2006, accessed March 24 2009