Sexual harassment resulted in an award of over £18,000

A young employee who worked in a diner has won a claim of victimisation having accused an older colleague of sexual harassment. She had only worked for six months when she was assaulted by the chef who was 35 years old. She explained to the tribunal that he pulled her into the office saying, ‘quick get in’ and tried to pull her pants down. She explained that she was scared and did not know what to do. 

At the employment tribunal, the respondents produced a declaration which they said had been signed by the employee, stating that she had not been sexually assaulted and that her comments had been taken out of context by her colleague. The employee denied ever signing the declaration and said it had been fabricated. The tribunal preferred the employee’s version of events, saying that her statement to the tribunal was “completely unambiguous”.

Shortly after reporting the events to her manager, the employee was dismissed from the diner. Five months later, when she realised that her mental health had been affected by the situation, she raised a grievance.  She outlined that she had been severely affected by the sexual assault and had begun self-harming, missing college as a result.  

The judgment ruled that the Claimant had been victimised and awarded a total of £18,696.14 for injury to feelings, loss of earnings, expenses, an ACAS uplift and interest.

Properly managing unwanted conduct in the workplace is vital and 121 HR Solutions can provide training to support managers. Should you feel that your managers would benefit from training in this subject, contact us at enquiries@121hrsolutions.co.uk.

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