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Graham Awards


£180,000 for estate agent who wanted to leave work early

A prominent prime London estate agent has been awarded £180,000 by a compensation panel following her victory earlier this year in a sex discrimination case against her former employer.

In May the tribunal heard that Alice Thompson was in 2018 earning some £120,000 a year working with Manors, an estate agency which on its website describes itself as “one of London’s leading estate agents…Moments from Oxford Street, covering central London’s prime residential addresses.”

Three years ago, following the birth of her daughter, Thompson requested to return to work on more flexible hours than she previously worked.


Specifically, she asked to work part time - four days a week until 5pm rather than 6pm, to pick her child up from a nursery.

The tribunal heard that the company managing director, Paul Sellar, stated that the additional costs and reorganisation allegedly needed to accommodate Thompson’s request made it “unworkable.”

Also at the tribunal Thompson claimed that she faced discrimination at events during her pregnancy. 

Employment judge Sarah Jane Goodman found Thompson had been discriminated against by the denial of her request, calling it an “injustice because of her sex.”

However she rejected other claims brought by the estate agent in relation to the alleged comments by Sellar.

Here’s the tribunal judgement.

  • Roger  Mellie

    The business needs what the business needs. The needs of the business come before all else. I suspect from reading other opinion pieces on this, Mr. Sellar may not have been very tactful in his approach. In matters such as these, a lawyer's opinion in how to tackle such a situation is vital and cannot be ignored as we see here.

  • icon

    Some employers will now be more careful than ever before taking on staff after seeing this ludicrous tribunal result. I won't say any more before the tribunal of free speech fines me.

  • Ammar Bakhaya

    No business in the world can operate based on the individual staff's lifestyle requirements. Employers should accommodate certain requests if their business can afford to accommodate these requests but no business should be punished for not accommodating unreasonable requests from employees.


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