A former PA at a billion-pound property firm has issued Employment Tribunal proceedings against her former employer after she was sacked in 2010.

The 32-year-old – who cannot be named for legal reasons – started work with the property company in 2008 as Personal Assistant to the Chief Executive. An affair between the Personal Assistant and the married Chief Executive (who cannot also be named for legal reasons) shortly after and continued until 2010, when the affair was exposed by a colleague in a letter to his wife. The Chief Executive’s wife subsequently found out about the affair and this caused him intense and embarrassing personal problems at home, which led him to try and dismiss the Personal Assistant in 2011. He offered his PA a £50,000 redundancy package – which she refused – and then told her not to “f***ing come back” when she did so. The Personal Assistant subsequently took advice from unfair dismissal solicitors and submitted an unfair dismissal claim and discrimination claim to the Employment Tribunal in 2011 and this came before the Central London Employment Tribunal earlier this year.

The Personal Assistant told the Employment Tribunal that the Chief Executive had installed her in a flat in Belsize Park, given her a car, promoted her to a £40,000 a year job, and sent her on a variety of holidays. She told how the 56-year-old had a reputation for sexual harassment in the office – it was reported that he would refer to women as “slappers” and “tarts”, buy sex toys for colleagues, and would say in the office: “It’s tits out day”. She also told how he liked to recruit “pretty young women” and that his attitude towards women was one based on sexuality rather than any merit. At one point, the Chief Executive had attempted to persuade her to arrange a threesome with an Australian employee and had offered to resolve the Australian’s visa issues if she accepted. After his wife found out about the affair she said he had become increasingly cold and distant in the office – although they still continued to sleep together.

Her boss – for his part – branded his former Personal Assistant as “obsessive”, said that she was “controlling and possessive” and had threatened to destroy the Chief Executive, his business and his family. He said that he believed that she would do and say anything to make life difficult for him and found it difficult to accept that their relationship had ended in 2010. The Tribunal heard evidence as to how his former Personal Assistant had accused him of sleeping with prostitutes and having an affair with a colleague after he had given that woman a pay rise. The Tribunal also was told that she would pressurise him by “bombarding” him with telephone calls – 72 in one day in 2010. He said that this started to affect his ability to manage the company and left him depressed and stressed.

The Employment Tribunal hearing was adjourned until a later date.

Direct 2 Lawyers offer expert advice from employment law solicitors and settlement agreement solicitors.

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The Direct 2 Lawyers Employment Team post daily on interesting employment law cases, Employment Tribunal judgments and Employment Appeal Tribunal judgments. All of the Employment Team posts are written by qualified specialist employment lawyers

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