Mrs Angela Honeywell, 42, commenced employment at the Clarendon Academy (in Wiltshire) in 2005. In the summer of 2011 Mrs Honeywell had an affair with the headteacher at the school, Mr Mark Stenton. Mr Stenton subsequently moved in with Mrs Honeywell. However, when Mrs Honeywell decided to reconcile her differences with her husband, Mr Chris Honeywell, it was alleged that Mr Stenton made life difficult for her, causing her to sign off work on multiple occasions between October 2011 and April 2012, when she resigned from her employment – amid complaints that Mr Stenton had kicked the front door of her home in when she ended her relationship with him and that he had texted her daughter threatening to commit suicide. She subsequently took employment law advice and submitted a claim to the Employment Tribunal, complaining that she had been constructively unfairly dismissed, that she had suffered sexual harassment from Mr Stenton, that she had been wrongfully dismissed, and that she had made a protected disclosure which had led to her being dismissed or subjected to a detriment.
A Pre-Hearing Review at the Employment Tribunal, Mrs Honeywell’s claim for sexual harassment under the Equality Act 2010 was dismissed as having no reasonable prospect of success. However, her other claims were allowed to continue. A settlement was subsequently reached between the parties (either through a compromise agreement or an ACAS COT3 agreement) and in return for a reported payment of £14,000, Mrs Honeywell agreed to withdraw her claims against Wiltshire County Council and allow the Employment Tribunal to dismiss her claims.
The Honeywells have not commented directly on the case but have confirmed that they are happy that the case is over as they found the pre-hearing review to be a difficult experience. Wiltshire Council commented only to stated that the priority of the children of the school was its paramount concern but a local councilor commented that “£14,000 is a very expensive affair for the people of Wiltshire” and that “if I or the council had more authority on the issue, this is something that really should have been delved in to”.
Chris Hadrill, an employment law solicitor at Redmans, commented that “it’s unusual for the amount for a settlement to be disclosed as there’s normally a confidentiality clause in settlement agreements which prevents the parties from disclosing details of the claim”
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