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Ex-agent takes former employer to tribunal over constructive dismissal

A former estate agent has taken her ex-employer to a tribunal, claiming constructive dismissal.

Charlotte Lloyd resigned her post at Callaways Estate Agents in Worthing after the firm reduced her hours.

On December 23 2014, Lloyd was signed off from work with stress by her GP. 

After returning on January 6 2015, she was told that she would work full-time for that month before changing to a part-time role.

Lloyd was signed off from work by her GP after unexpectedly seeing a former colleague – who she says sexually harassed her – at the staff Christmas party.

She says the former colleague – Michael Keilthy – made repeated sexually inappropriate and lewd gestures towards her between February and July 2014.

The harassment included nicknaming her 'sugar t***', making sexual innuendos and frequently 'humping' her desk.

Keilthy was subsequently suspended and dismissed, but later that year turned up at the agency's Christmas party after booking a table at the same restaurant.

Lloyd described the incident as 'publicly humiliating'.

It was after this that she was signed off by her GP.

Her managers then decided that her full-time role may set her back further and then proceeded to reduce her hours without consulting her.

"This was decided for my 'welfare' but nobody consulted me or my doctor about this," she said in a witness statement.

Lloyd told her employers she was able to handle her original role as a full-time sales negotiator but was nevertheless asked to re-apply for the position.

She says this was unfair as during her 15 months with the firm no other employee had to re-apply for their role and that the reason she was sick was due to Keithly's inappropriate behaviour.

After submitting a grievance – which was subsequently dismissed – Lloyd resigned her post, saying her confidence in Callaways had been 'seriously undermined'.

The tribunal is seeking to determine whether Lloyd's departure was as a result of sexual discrimination – she claims it was constructive unfair dismissal.

The Daily Mail reports that should Lloyd win the case, she will be seeking compensation from the agency.  

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