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Chris Hadrill, a specialist employment solicitor at Redmans, answers the question:

“I work for a law firm in the City of London and have been dismissed by my boss because I ended a sexual relationship I was having with him – do I have a claim?”

If, in asking ‘what can I do’, you’re asking whether you can bring a claim against your previous employer and/or your previous boss in the circumstances, this will depend on a number of factual and legal issues – we’ll address these below. From an analysis of your question, it appears that you have the following potential claims against your previous employer and/or previous boss:

  1. Unfair dismissal
  2. Notice pay
  3. Direct sex discrimination
  4. Sexual harassment
  5. Gender-related harassment
  6. Victimisation

Unfair dismissal

In order to bring a claim for unfair dismissal you must have been an employee of the law firm and have been employed continuously by the firm for at least two years to the date of your dismissal. Assuming that these criteria are satisfied, whether your dismissal would be fair or not would depend upon the reason that your previous employer gave for your dismissal, whether a fair disciplinary procedure was followed prior to your dismissal, whether you were allowed to appeal against your dismissal, and whether the decision-maker reasonably and genuinely believed you should be dismissed based on the allegations put to you. We would therefore need to collect further information from you in order to determine the prospects of success of an unfair dismissal claim.

Notice pay

Whether you would succeed on this claim would depend on whether you were contractually-entitled upon the termination of your employment to be paid your notice pay. Again, we would need more information to be able to give you our opinion on the prospects of success of a claim for notice pay.

Direct sex discrimination

In order to succeed with a claim for direct sex discrimination you would need to show that, in being dismissed, you were treated less favourably than a comparable male employee had been treated or would be treated. There is a substantial amount of precedent (for example, B v A [2007] UKEAT/0450/06/0901 and Martin v. Lancehawk Ltd (t/a European Telecom Solutions) [2004] UKEAT/0525/03/2203) to suggest that it would be difficult for you to succeed with a claim for direct sex discrimination in the circumstances, as you would need to show that a homosexual male employee would not have been dismissed if they had ended a sexual relationship with their homosexual male boss.

Sexual harassment

If you were subjected to any unwanted sexual conduct by your boss after you ended the relationship then you may have a claim for sexual harassment – again, further information would be needed to give you a view on the prospects of success of such a claim.

Gender-related harassment

If you were subjected to any unwanted conduct related to your gender by your boss after you ended the relationship then you may have a claim for gender-related harassment – again, and not to sound like the proverbial ‘broken record’, we would need further information in order to advise you on the prospects of success of such a claim.

Victimisation

If you filed a grievance against your boss (formal or informal, verbal or written) because of any discrimination or harassment that you believed you had suffered from him and were then subjected to any detriment then you would have a claim for victimisation if you could show that the detriment you suffered was because of the complaint you made. Again, further information would be needed on this point.

About

Redmans Employment Team deal with employment matters for both employers and employees, including drafting employment contracts and policies, advising employers and employees on compromise agreements, handling day-to-day HR issues, advising on restructures, and handling Employment Tribunal cases for both employers and employees Call 020 3397 3603 to speak to one of the members of our employment team or email us on enquiries@redmans.co.uk. Redmans have offices in Richmond, Chiswick, Hammersmith, Fulham, Kingston, Wimbledon, Ealing, Kings Cross and Marylebone (meetings strictly by appointment only).

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    Please feel free to discuss your own position and concerns. Contact your nearest office on:

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    Testimonials

    4.76 Average

    235 Reviews

    Paul O

    Chris & Rana guided me through a redundancy discussion. Prompt & patient assistance with the documents & meetings. Clear advice & fast responses regarding negotiations. Would definitely recommend & would use again without hesitation.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Anonymous

    Outstanding, efficient service. Thank you so much!

    Posted 1 month ago

    Jaswant S

    Very very happy with the good service I got Thank you so much for your help

    Posted 1 month ago

    Anonymous

    Mel and Chris were fantastic and supportive throughout! 1000% recommend.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Emma D

    Good responsive service

    Posted 1 month ago

    Mike T

    Good efficient service.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Brenda G

    Very professional and helpful

    Posted 1 month ago

    Charles A

    Chris Hadrill was recommended to me when I found myself in need of a solicitor at very short notice. He contacted me almost immediately to arrange a call. Chris handled my case in a professional and timely manner and kept me notified throughout. Chris inspired confidence and made me feel I was being cared for. If ever I'm in need of legal representation, I would not hesitate to contact Chris. And will gladly recommend him to family and friends.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Rosalind R

    I was very happy with the service that I received from Redmans Solicitors. They were able to advise me accordingly with regards to my employment matter and stay within the agreed costing.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Karl B

    Caroline and Chris were so helpful and friendly. Couldn't of asked for a better service.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Dimitrios P

    Excellent, professional service, in time and within the expected value.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Barbara K

    Everything quickly and fairly. Very professional. Thank you.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Sabrina J

    I received a efficient professional service during the whole process of liasing between myself and my former employer to getting all forms signed and receiving my redundancy payment in full in the summer of this year.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Anonymous

    I received legal advice on a redundancy settlement agreement from Redmans Solicitors and was very impressed by the quality of their service. Chris Hadrill is highly experienced in settlement matters and was especially understanding of the particulars of my case, going out of his way to ensure that it was resolved quickly and with the utmost professionalism. I have no hesitation in recommending Redmans to anyone in need of employment advice and settlement resolution.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Anonymous

    Excellent service, with full explanations of everything needed. Both Chris and Mel answered all emails very promptly and were personable and efficient.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Anonymous

    I would like to thank Chris Hadrill, in particular who handled my case, for all his hard work, expertise and dedication. He listened with empathy and offered suitable advice, which made me feel valued and confident through a difficult time. I would highly recommend Chris and the team at Redmans Solicitors. Thank you.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Yann G

    Yann Guezennec / Chris Hadrill - Thanks for the detailed, informed and professional advice for my settlement. When comprise is the rule I felt we could have been maybe a bit more aggressive from the start. However an acceptable outcome considering the situation. Thank you

    Posted 1 month ago

    Valentina D

    Great service from Mel, she was very good at explaining every part of the settlement agreement and very efficient dealing with the HR team. Very professional team, I would definitely use them again in future if the opportunity came up.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Olaf S

    I was very happy with the service that I have received. Thank You Regards

    Posted 1 month ago

    Rebecca A

    I had a wonderful solicitor called Caroline who was so helpful and gave me all the information I need and explained everything in detail so I was crystal clear. Would highly recommend if you are in need of a solicitor!

    Posted 1 month ago

    Gareth J

    Very efficient, helpful and pragmatic support from Caroline. Happy to work with my requirements / suggestions but also made some very good points which helped to achieve a higher settlement amount. Would highly recommend Caroline and Chris.

    Posted 1 month ago