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Gym employees win payout after ‘women can’t be managers’ comments

Makbool Javaid, Partner - Simons Muirhead & Burton

PersonnelToday reports two female gym employees who were subjected to derogatory comments about their sex by their superior – and were deterred from remaining at the company as a result – have been awarded more than £15,000 in compensation by an employment tribunal.

In October 2018 a new business development manager, Mr Whitelaw, was appointed. Within the first few weeks of him joining the company he was claimed to have said he he did not believe women should be in management roles as they “just rabble on and are too emotional” in meetings and “go off on a tangent”.

The tribunal was not convinced that the decision to make Veitch redundant from the general manager role was not related to her sex, and found that the messages Whitelaw sent to her were harassment as he was more senior and they could be perceived as creating a “hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for her”. It found she had been unfairly dismissed.

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