Appeal allowed in protected act victimization case


Makbool Javaid, partner – Simons Muirhead & Burton

April 30, 2021

In St Mungo’s Community Housing Association v Andrews, the Labor Court erred in allowing a victimization claim, based on a protected act that had never been pleaded.

Ms Leigh Andrews worked on Broadway Homeless and Support as a Social Rights Coordinator in London. It would later become the St Mungo Community Housing Association following a merger.

Andrews then found another job and quit. Shortly after notifying her, she was told that allegations of intimidation had been made against her by her supervisor and that there had already been a preliminary investigation but it had been decided not to prosecute. . It came as a surprise and she denied the allegations. She requested that a disciplinary hearing be held to properly resolve the issues and offered to return to London after her employment ended, in order to participate in this hearing, but that offer was rejected.

Shortly after leaving Broadway, the Claimant discovered that a male staff member was better paid for work she considered to be of equal value. She instructed the lawyers to send a questionnaire on equal pay to the defendant and filed a complaint with the Labor Court. The defendant answered the questionnaire but the plaintiff decided not to continue the proceedings due to the financial risk of continuing the proceedings.

She applied to join St Mungo’s bank of substitute workers and was told she was successful, but the offer was later withdrawn after a member of staff recalled that she was involved in allegations of ‘intimidation. The ET concluded that the questionnaire and the equal pay request were material facts in their decision.

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