Employment tribunal case against Swale Council adjourned until October

A high-profile employment tribunal case involving a former council HR chief has been adjourned until October.

Janet Mason, former head of HR at Swale Borough Council in Kent, is claiming breach of contract, sex discrimination and unfair dismissal against the local authority.

Mason claimed she was sacked last year after 20 years’ service because she refused to give details of council chief executive Mark Bilsborough’s contract to a group of senior councillors trying to force him out.

She described to the tribunal in Ashford how she found herself in the middle of a battle between Bilsborough, who planned to shake-up various departments, and senior officers worried they would be made redundant.

Bilsborough was put on gardening leave in December 2006 and fired in April this year.

Mason said: “I made it plain I didn’t want to be part of their covert activities. After that, I noticed that other senior officers at the council didn’t come near me. I felt on the periphery of an exclusive male club.”

Mason also alleged that senior officers and councillors ogled female employees and used sexual innuendo.

The tribunal was adjourned until 8 October, when the council is expected to present its case.

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