A former employee of Spicerhaart has been awarded £10,000 costs after winning her employment tribunal case.
The case, brought by Mrs Anna Catchpole, was heard last July. The tribunal found that she had been constructively and unfairly dismissed, and was critical of the way her grievances had been handled.
At a remedy hearing last October, a settlement was reached between the parties of £28,971.
Spicerhaart has now been ordered to pay £10,000 towards her costs, at a tribunal hearing at Bury St Edmunds.
The latest paperwork in the case, published on Friday, says that Mrs Catchpole had tried to settle matters from the outset without the need for litigation. She had sought some £35,000 in her resignation letter, but had been offered first £2,000 and then £3,500.
In making its award, the tribunal says this is a reserved judgment.
The tribunal says there was not unreasonable behaviour by Spicerhaart, but that it had been “misconceived in its response” to proceedings.
At the original case last July, the tribunal set out an agreed list of issues, including allegations of bullying and harassment of the claimant by her line manager at the Chewton Rose branch in Norwich, and a failure by a divisional partner to take steps to resolve the matter.
The former is named as Annie Ewards and the latter as Richard Olliffe.
There had also been a flawed and drawn-out grievance process which took several months to complete. The claimant had had most of her complaints upheld, but had then been offered “two wholly inadequate resolutions, namely mediation or a move to another branch”.
One complaint, the tribunal heard, was that when Mrs Catchpole’s grandfather died, she had advised she could not go in to work. However, she received a text asking if she could go in to work that afternoon, a request she found insensitive.
When, some months later, Mrs Catchpole had been offered external mediation and “an alternative opportunity in the business”, she declined the offer and resigned.
A few days later she was offered an alternative role in the haart branch in Norwich, but she turned that down and not long after, her resignation was accepted.
The tribunal said that it would not necessarily categorise the issues between the claimant and her line manager as bullying and harassment but did say that the relationship had broken down, making it difficult for the claimant to work with her.
It also said that the divisional manager’s “lack of action” had made the claimant feel she was not being listened to or taken seriously.