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Sacked former chambermaid wins £36,494 for unfair dismissal

PUBLISHED: 08:30 17 December 2019 | UPDATED: 08:31 17 December 2019

Steve Brundle, pictured, sacked Mrs Boyle, a chambermaid at the Dormy House Hotel. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Steve Brundle, pictured, sacked Mrs Boyle, a chambermaid at the Dormy House Hotel. Picture: Matthew Usher.

© Archant Norfolk 2014

A hotel director is appealing after an employment tribunal ordered his firm to pay £36,494.38 to a former chambermaid in a case of unfair dismissal.

Dormy House Hotel in West Runton, where the chambermaid worked before her dismissal. Picture: Google MapsDormy House Hotel in West Runton, where the chambermaid worked before her dismissal. Picture: Google Maps

Wendy Boyle worked at the Dormy House Hotel in West Runton, near Cromer, from September 1, 2015 until her dismissal on February 5, 2018.

An employment tribunal in Norwich on November 7 heard that the then 60-year-old was dismissed because Steve Brundle, a director of North Norfolk Ltd, which owns the hotel, told staff she had "dementia or Alzheimer's".

The court heard that Mr Brundle had taken over the hotel in early February 2018.

Mr Brundle 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".

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The firm had been ordered to pay £25,365.50 to the claimant in April 2019. But, as it had not complied with regulations since then, it was ordered to pay further awards amounting to £11,128.88, including legal costs, 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, namely disability, pursuant to Section 13 of the Equality Act 2010.

Mr Brundle did not wish to comment, as he said it was "subject to an appeal".

He was previously landlord at the Golden Fleece at Wells Quay, which he sold on January 27, 2018, before he bought the Dormy House Hotel.

Mrs Boyle's niece Laura said: "It has been a two-year battle to get my mum's name cleared, having been sacked for having dementia.

"My mother does not have dementia. Mr Brundle sacked my mum claiming she had some form of dementia. She, however, doesn't, and this was his personal opinion."

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