Tribunal awards executive £150,000 in sex discrimination case

An executive whose boss offered her money to spend every other weekend with him has been awarded £150,000 compensation by an employment tribunal.

Patricia MacKinnon resigned as managing director of Bromley Appointments, a recruitment company, in 2003 after refusing the advances of Jack Parkinson, chairman of HR GO (formerly the Human Resource Group).  

He had offered to pay her £1,000 for each weekend she spent with him.

In December 2003, a tribunal upheld Mackinnon’s claims of sex discrimination and unfair dismissal. Some former employees of MacKinnon claimed that she made up the sexual harassment claims and said that if she had not resigned, they would have left the company.

In its judgement, the tribunal said: “Over a period of some months, Parkinson attempted to persuade MacKinnon to embark upon a sexual relationship with him, offering her, at different times, security and money.

“This was done against the background of the power which he had over her. The failure of the company … to carry out a proper investigation of her legitimate grievances undoubtedly made the injury to her feelings a lot worse.

In his evidence, Hugh Billot, HR GO’s group personnel director, had said that other staff said they would resign if MacKinnon did not and the company had sustained losses under her management.

The tribunal found that “the bulk of evidence upon which [Billot] relied in his statements to the tribunal was based on what he was told by members of staff who were anxious to preserve their jobs or to ensure advancement”.

Parkinson and HR GO were ordered to pay £67,596 each and Bromley Appointments was ordered to pay £15,661 damages.

The company said in a statement it was disappointed at the outcome of the tribunal.

Comments are closed.