University Lecturer who formerly tutored Jimmy Choo wins constructive unfair dismissal claim 

Paras Gorasia represented Mrs Christine Hill Lilley, formerly a Senior Lecturer at the University of Northampton, in her claim for constructive unfair dismissal arising out of bullying and the University’s handling of her grievance before the Cambridge Employment Tribunal.

The ET found that the Claimant was subject to behaviour by her manager that was consistent with bullying and that her manager needlessly asserted her authority on an issue where there was no reason for her to do so which served to create a hostile environment and avoidable stress for the Claimant.

When the Claimant sought to discuss her working relationship with her manager, the ET accepted that the Claimant’s concerns were dismissed out of hand and that when she broke down in tears, her manager’s response was not to soften her tone or show empathy or concern and instead said “I knew we should have had the meeting in a private office”.

Matters culminated in a formal grievance being raised by the Claimant which was held by the Tribunal to have severe shortcomings (see in particular paragraphs 53-55 of the Judgment) which “fell some way short of what might reasonably be expected for a fair and reasonably minded employer” and in of itself amounted to a fundamental breach of contract. In the ET’s own words it amounted to a ”whole extra bale of straw” which broke the proverbial camel’s back.

The ET concluded that the Claimant was constructively unfairly dismissed and the matter is to be listed for a Remedy Hearing.

The full Judgment can be found here.

Media coverage: Daily Mail, Telegraph.