Hotel director appeals against £36k employment tribunals bill

PUBLISHED: 14:46 26 February 2020 | UPDATED: 12:34 27 February 2020

Steve Brundle. Picture: Archant

Steve Brundle. Picture: Archant

Steve Brundle. Picture: Archant

A hotel director has appealed against a tribunal ruling that ordered him to pay £36,494.38 to a former chambermaid.

Dormy House Hotel in West Runton. Picture: Google MapsDormy House Hotel in West Runton. Picture: Google Maps

Steve Brundle, a director of North Norfolk Ltd, which owns the Dormy House Hotel in West Runton, near Cromer, was ordered to pay Wendy Boyle the money by an employment tribunal in Norwich on November 7 last year.

She had worked at the hotel from September 1, 2015 until her dismissal on February 5, 2018.

Mr Brundle said the case had now been referred to the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) and would be heard at London's High Court.

He said: "The London EAT has accepted the case and it will be heard before London's High Court at a date to be fixed.

"I'm appealing on a point of law. If I win the appeal, it will mean that I am entitled to a trial.

"We've never had a hearing. We were given a court date in March last year at Norwich magistrates' court but it was cancelled.

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"At the next court date we were given, I was not allowed to speak."

The tribunal heard last November that Mrs Boyle, who was then 60, was dismissed because Mr Brundle told staff she had "dementia or Alzheimer's". She does not have dementia.

The court heard that Mr Brundle, who had taken over the hotel in early February 2018, told Mrs Boyle that there "was no need for a chambermaid as he was going to concentrate on the restaurant business". However, an advertisement appeared shortly thereafter for a housekeeper at the hotel.

The tribunal was told that: "Mr Brundle had also informed some of the staff and indeed, the claimant's solicitor, that he perceived that she had dementia or Alzheimer's and that seems to have had a great bearing on the claimant's dismissal. In fact, the reason for the claimant's dismissal.

"That clearly would have been very upsetting and distressing for the claimant to learn when she was informed of this by her daughter."

The firm had been ordered to pay £25,365.50 to the claimant in April 2019. But, as it did not comply with regulations, it was ordered to pay further awards amounting to £11,128.88, in November.

The tribunal found that Mrs Boyle had been automatically unfairly dismissed pursuant to Regulation 7 of the Transfer of Undertakings Protection of Employment Regulations 2006 and unfairly dismissed pursuant to the Employment Rights Act 1996. It also ruled that she had been subject to perceived direct discrimination.

Mrs Boyle's family did not wish to comment.

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