Former hotel manager who was sacked for going home to ‘sort her dog out’ wins unfair dismissal case

Steve Brundle, pictured in front of the Golden Fleece in 2014. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Steve Brundle, pictured in front of the Golden Fleece in 2014. Picture: Matthew Usher. - Credit: Matthew Usher

A former Norfolk hotel manager has won her case for unfair dismissal after being dismissed because her boss said she went home too often to look after her dog.

Isabelle Tabrett was general manager at the Golden Fleece at The Quay, Wells-next-the-Sea.

She was dismissed by landlord Steve Brundle late last year, and she filed her claim form for unfair dismissal on December 7.

An employment tribunal at Norwich Magistrates’ Court judged that she was unfairly dismissed.

Mr Brundle and Norfolk Coastal Pubs Ltd must pay her compensation of £5740.82 plus a basic award of £733.50.

The tribunal heard from Miss Tabrett that she started work at the pub on May 5, 2014, initially as a restaurant supervisor, before becoming general manager in 2015.

The judge said: “It is, in the circumstances, difficult to see the reason for the claimant’s dismissal, whether conduct or capability it is not clear.

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“The procedure up to and including dismissal was completely flawed.”

The Golden Fleece was sold by Mr Brundle on January 27, and he bought The Dormy House Hotel, Cromer Road, West Runton.

Mr Brundle did not wish to comment today, only to confirm that he had sold the business on January 27.

The tribunal was held on March 16 before employment judge Robin Postle.

Miss Tabrett attended, but Mr Brundle did not.

It heard that during her holidays in October Miss Tabrett received an email from Mr Brundle questioning her ability as general manager.

At a follow-up meeting, among other criticisms, Mr Brundle said she was always going home to “sort her dog out”, which she denied.

She later received an email from Mr Brundle saying that: “It is impossible for me to let you continue as general manager.... I wish you well in the future and I’m sorry for this horrible situation”.

He said he would pay her money in lieu of notice, but that never transpired.

Miss Tabrett, who lives in Wells, is now working as front of house manager in the Number 29 bar and restaurant in Burnham Market. She is not working today.