Ms Perrin was employed as a receptionist at Fred Christophers Ltd (“FC”), a funeral director. FC dismissed Ms Perrin on grounds on redundancy because a new role had been created for which FC alleged Ms Perrin was not suitable.
Ms Perrin brought claims against FC and Jon Christophers (“JC”) for unfair dismissal, direct age and sex discrimination, harassment on grounds of age and sex and failure to provide terms and conditions of employment under s.1 of the Employment Rights Act 1996.
JC and FC then failed to comply with ET Orders including two "unless orders", so were unable to present a response or evidence at the hearing.
For this reason, Ms Perrin’s claim for unfair dismissal automatically succeeded. The ET went on to consider the remaining claims.
The ET found that Ms Perrin had been directly discriminated against on grounds of her age when she was dismissed as there were no substantial differences between the old and new role, there was no evidence of under-performance on Ms Perrin’s part and JC made various age-related comments including “don’t worry, I’ll get rid of her” and he wanted to replace her with a “young, fit blonde”.
The ET also found that Ms Perrin had been harassed on grounds of her age when she was told that she was “not up to it” and this was not an isolated incident. The Tribunal found that these comments were ‘no doubt’ humiliating and accepted Ms Perrin’s evidence that she had lost confidence as a result of the treatment. Ms Perrin was awarded £13,000 for injury to feelings.
Ms Perrin was also awarded further sums for her losses as a result of the dismissal including future losses for the next two years, four weeks’ pay for not providing a written statement of terms and conditions, and the majority of her costs including tribunal fees, travel and attendance expenses, photocopying and counsel’s brief fee.
Rozamund Perrin v (1) Fred Christopher’s and Sons Limited, (2) Jon Christopher’s, Employment Tribunal Exeter, Case number 1401278/2014