A former employee of the League Against Cruel Sports is aiming to take legal action against us following his dismissal from the charity recently.

A story about this legal action has now appeared in the media. Here is our response to the story.

Andrew Knott, Interim CEO of the League Against Cruel Sports, said:

"The League Against Cruel Sports is a charity that cares passionately about animals, particularly those animals killed or abused for ‘sport’ or ‘entertainment’. We try to protect animals from those involved in hunting, shooting, dog fighting, bullfighting and other activities on a daily basis. We are a small charity with a big reputation which shows how impactful and effective we are.

"When providing pensions for staff, there are strict regulations in place, which we follow. These are designed to ensure that organisations do not automatically enrol their staff into any funds which are financially risky or expensive. As a caring employer, we take this very seriously.

"Investment funds encompass different companies and fund managers make these decisions. There is unfortunately the potential that companies which don’t always conform to our values are selected. That is why all our staff have the chance to choose their own pension fund. There are pension funds available that offer more ‘ethical’ choices – but these are generally not available for organisations to offer automatically, because they often have higher financial risk and higher administration charges, that fall outside the regulations.

"Up until 2015, League staff were automatically enrolled into an ‘ethical’ pension fund, but we understand that the FCA, the body responsible for pensions, changed the regulations and the fund became ineligible. We followed financial advice and changed our pension, while still offering the chance for individuals to change their own fund to an ethical fund.

"Our former colleague Mr Casamitjana did raise concerns about the pension fund because he did not want to be contributing to certain companies and we respect that decision. Our interim Chief Executive, Andy Knott, dealt with Jordi’s request immediately on his arrival, and as a result Mr Casamitjana was able to transfer his own pension to an ethical fund within a few weeks. Indeed, all staff were informed and given that option. We were not able to change the League’s automatic pension to the same ethical fund because of the FCA regulations, as they apply to our pension provider. Mr Casamitjana was not dismissed because he raised concerns about the pension, either internally or externally, so there is no substance to his claims that he was ‘whistleblowing’.  All staff were informed about the situation and the processes in place to enable them to make their own choices. The reason for his dismissal is different from that which he states but clearly this is confidential information which we are respecting.

"Since Mr Casamitjana raised the issue, we have not been hiring and thus we have had a period in which we can engage with our pension provider and an independent financial advisor to look to the wider market to see if there are any ethical options newly available which will comply with FCA regulations, as well as meeting our duty of care to look after staff. We are still in that process."