Ex-Your Move employee wins case at Employment Tribunal for sex discrimination

A man who was offered a sex act by his female boss if he hit target has won his case for sexual discrimination against Your Move at an employment tribunal.

However, the tribunal ruled that it did not amount to harassment, and it also struck out Paul Elworthy’s claim for constructive unfair dismissal.

Financial consultant Elworthy, 45, was at a boozy Christmas lunch when Sarah Thompson, 51, allegedly made the remark – that if he banked £180,000 he would be rewarded with a sex act.

Thompson, who is financial services director at Your Move’s regional headquarters in Chessington, Surrey, had denied making the remark.

But colleague Giles Barrett, who still works at the firm, recalled it being made. When he heard it, he said “Does that count for everyone?” and she replied “No, you’re married” – and this was apparently followed by laughter.

The tribunal, in south London, said that the remark was not harassment, but that: “It was a highly sexualised comment and we have no hesitation in finding that the comment was made because of the claimant’s gender.”

The panel added: “We find that Ms Thompson would not have made an equivalent comment to a woman.

“We therefore find that the comment was less favourable treatment because of sex and the claim for direct sex discrimination succeeds.”

The tribunal also rejected Elworthy’s claims that he had been forced to clean toilets.

A further hearing will determine the amount of damages.

Last night, a Your Move spokesperson said: “‘We’re pleased that neither the sexual harassment  or unfair dismissal claims were upheld and that Your Move was acknowledged as having acted fairly and reasonably.”


Ex-employee sues agency boss for unfair dismissal after ‘sex act’ claims


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  1. AgencyInsider

    In this PC-obsessed world the tribunal had no option but to find that the comment amounted sexual discrimination as she would not have made it to a woman.

    But the fact that they rejected the other parts of the claim tends to uphold the view that this bloke was out to skewer the firm anyway and blew (yes, that is an innuendo) the throwaway line into something it was not.

    If the case is as reported I  have nothing but sympathy for Sarah Thompson and nothing but contempt for Elworthy.


  2. eltell

    A nominal £1 damages payment in this case would be appropriate compensation methinks.

  3. Essjaydee51

    Taking it as it reads above and putting my self in a pub with colleagues having had a few or not, this is outright having fun that any single (and a lot of married) men would enjoy as banter or sexual inuendo and I’m sure in that vein it could be used bi sexually unless of course you later get sacked and it then can be twisted and used for a claim, let’s hope Giles is safe in his job and Sarah retains her sense of humor thus her colleagues being at ease around her, as for the 45 year old “man” hmmm less said the better.

  4. Will

    If he achieved his target and she didn’t perform would it be a breach of contract? Oh yes not a pc comment!!!  I am sure there must have been more behind (no pun intended) this case than what was probably banter.

  5. FromTheHip64

    Someone needs to man up. This is pathetic (but indicative of the world we live in). He should be ashamed and embarrassed. This was nothing more than a bit of drunken banter. Anyone with half a brain can see that. Something else p***ed him off, he remembered the comment, saw pound signs and someone who thought they were enjoying a bit of banter and joining in with the crowd at a lively Christmas bash ends up in court.

    I know Sarah from my Your Move days in Kent and I’ve sat in bar with her and a group of others after a Christmas bash. She’s a fun, likeable woman who doesn’t deserve some wet, disgruntled employee taking advantage of one humorous, off the cuff comment.

    I think i may emigrate.

  6. julianodell

    It’s hard to see how this stood up in court. The outcome leaves a bad taste in the mouth and it seems a good few readers are finding it hard to swallow. Frankly the whole thing sucks.

    1. Property Personnel

      If Carlsberg did comments on PIE…..

    2. wardy

      At least the case has finally come to a head.

  7. Property Ear

    Is it possible that had the genders been reversed, the man, in such a case, would have received a far harsher penalty??

    1. PeeBee

      Now that WOULD be discrimination!

      Putting aside all those bits that individuals will either find humourous or distressing in innumerable degrees – this entire sorry episode is just a farce which will do our industry no good whatsoever.

      1. AgentbytheSea09

        If you put yourself in that situation, expect a bit of less proffessional banter. Coming from a woman who thinks this over PC world has gone mad!

  8. Woodentop

    Did he hit his target?

  9. 40yearvetran08

    Whilst I agree this is just banter and should not have gone to tribunal if the roles were reversed and a male had offered that funny sounding irish airline to a female and it went before a tribunal the result would undoubtedly have been different. I think that this chap has a case for sexual discrimination against the tribunal because I think they have double standards. So yes man up mate but also perhaps we can apply the same rules for both sexs and then perhaps common sense will prevail.

  10. smile please

    Whilst i agree in the main with most the comments on here.

    Could we just flip the scenarios.

    Male boss at a pub, offers a female member of staff a sexual act if she hits target…… I think we would be seeing a lot of different comments on here today.


  11. smile please

    FYI – For those in the “Know” you will know who Sarah’s Ex-Husband is and will not be surprised that they are backing her, which is admirable considering things that i have heard from her in the past ….. Lets just say i am not surprised by her unprofessional behavior.

  12. Woodentop

    And if he had hit his target?

  13. sunbeam34

    He may have won but he lost in my eyes. I wouldn’t employ a person who had done that to his previous employers. He should be ashamed of himself.


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