National Trust told to pay almost £50,000 to employee it discriminated against

Claire Bryant was constructively unfairly dismissed on the grounds of sex, an employment tribunal concludes; the charity says it was a 'clear case of unconscious bias'

Heelis, the National Trust's headquarters in Swindon, Wiltshire
Heelis, the National Trust's headquarters in Swindon, Wiltshire

A former gardener at a National Trust property has been awarded nearly £50,000 in compensation for unfair dismissal, harassment and discrimination.

A tribunal ruling published this week shows that employment judges were unanimous in their decision that Claire Bryant was constructively unfairly dismissed by the charity.

The tribunal, at Ashford, Kent, upheld complaints of direct discrimination and harassment on the grounds of sex.

The documents do not reveal the details of the case, but a post on the charity’s website appears to show that Bryant worked as a gardener at its Quebec House property in Kent

The tribunal documents show that the tribunal last month awarded Bryant compensation totalling £49,297. This covered loss of earnings, counselling costs, interest on her financial loss, compensation for injury to feelings, interest on non-financial loss and uplift in respect of tax due on the award. 

A National Trust spokesperson said: "We are clearly disappointed by the decision.

"It was unfortunate that the judge felt we had not proved that we had not discriminated against the claimant on the grounds of sex.

"However, the judge did make it clear in the remedy judgement that the discrimination was not deliberate and that it was a clear case of unconscious bias."

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