Skip to content

Martin Searle Solicitors

01273 609911 Request a Call Back

Case Study: Representing a Client in Claims of Sex Discrimination and Sexual Harassment

Employment Law

How Christianne Silverwood, Employment Law consultant solicitor based in our Croydon office, represented a client in claims for sex discrimination, including harassment on grounds of sex and sexual harassment.

The situation

Angela worked as an Office Administrator at Globe Consultancy, a large Public Relations firm.

Over a number of years, she was harassed by Oliver, a senior member of staff. He repeatedly made comments of a sexual nature, propositioned her, and asked her to send him explicit photographs. Oliver also touched her without her consent on more than one occasion.

Angela wanted to report Oliver but was afraid to do so. She thought that her employer may not believe her due to his seniority and she would be blamed for Oliver’s conduct and dismissed.

She became ill from the stress caused by the harassment and was signed off work for three months. She discussed the matter with Victims Support and then raised a grievance in February 2020.

Although Angela was well enough to return to work, her employer told her she could not return to work.

Her employer was also very slow in responding to her grievance so she approached us for advice.

What Martin Searle Solicitors did

We helped Angela issue an ET1 claim against Oliver and against Globe Consultancy, in order to protect her right to bring claims within the legal time limits.

Angela did not feel she could incur the legal costs to draft the claim. We, therefore, gave her detailed and comprehensive written legal advice about how to draft the claim detailing all the types of sex discrimination and sexual harassment she had experienced.

We advised Angela that she had reasonable prospects in succeeding in her claims and that the hearing was likely to take place over a number of days. The outcome would most likely rest on whose version of events the judge believed. We explained that as much of the harassment had occurred many months and years before she had issued her claim, she could be deemed to be out of time for some of the incidents.

We advised Angela that she should plead that all the discriminatory and harassing acts amounted to continuing acts in order for all of them to be counted. She addressed all these points in her claim form.

Globe Consultancy responded to her claims arguing that it had taken all reasonable steps to prevent the discrimination. Oliver denied any wrongdoing.

Two months after issuing her claim, Angela’s grievance was upheld in full. However, Globe Consultancy did not make any attempt to compensate her for the injury caused. They also did not allow her to resume work.

Angela repeatedly asked her employer to allow her to return to work and to advise her on whether Oliver was still employed. The employer would not engage and she remained off work and on full pay. This was despite her grievance having been upheld.

Angela instructed us that she wanted to leave her job and that she could not face a full Hearing. She felt that having to see Oliver would be traumatic and that the stress would cause her to become ill. At the same time, she did not want to let Oliver get away with it. She also felt that Globe Consultancy had breached its duties to her by failing to respond to her grievance promptly and then by refusing to let her return to work, even after her grievance was upheld.

The result

We submitted a proposal for full and final settlement to Globe Consultancy’s solicitors. Initially they offered a low sum but, over the next 3 months, after considerable negotiation, Globe Consultancy agreed to full and final settlement for a total sum of £83,451.74; and an agreed reference.

If you are experiencing sexual harassment or sex discrimination at work, get in touch with our expert Employment Law Team on01273 609911, or email info@ms-solicitors.co.uk.

Martin Searle Solicitors, 9 Marlborough Place, Brighton, BN1 1UB
T: 01273 609 991 info@ms-solicitors.co.uk

Martin Searle Solicitors is the trading name of ms solicitors ltd, which is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, and is registered in England under company number 05067303.

© 2021