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Woman on zero-hours contract wins sexual harassment claim

A woman on a zero-hours contract has won her claim of sexual harassment by her line manager despite initially being reluctant to bring a claim for fear of losing her job.

The 22-year-old woman worked in the hotel industry. She became alarmed when her manager started touching her and asking about her sex life. However, she felt unable to make a formal complaint because she was insecure about her job and feared he would reduce her hours.

At one point she did mention the problem to another line manager. He advised her to make a formal complaint but took no further action.

She only summoned up the courage to raise a formal grievance when her mother intervened and urged her to stand up for herself. The company carried out an investigation, which took a year to complete. No action was taken against the manager.

The woman took the case to the employment tribunal, which upheld her complaint of sexual harassment. It accepted that she had not brought the claim earlier because she feared she might lose her job or get fewer shifts. It awarded her £19,500 compensation for the injury to her feelings.

The tribunal was also highly critical of the company for taking so long to complete its investigation and for failing to take any clear action against the manager.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the issues raised in this article or any aspect of employment law.

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