Editor’s note: This item is republished with permission from Global Edge Marketing Ltd. The original post can be viewed here.

An estate agency manager in Southwest England who reportedly spent hours viewing Internet porn and playing online poker, has lost his legal case for unfair dismissal, reports Estate Agent Today.

Editor’s note: This item is republished with permission from Global Edge Marketing Ltd. The original post can be viewed here.

An estate agency manager in Southwest England who reportedly spent hours viewing Internet porn and playing online poker, has lost his legal case for unfair dismissal, reports Estate Agent Today.

Sales manager Anthony Stewart, 33, who earned in excess of 50,000 British pounds (about $81,156) a year, took his employer Lloyds Property Group to an employment tribunal where he claimed tens of thousands of pounds for unfair dismissal and lost earnings.

He lost his case but Lloyds, a three-office agency with a 30-year history, says it endured 14 months of hell and was left with a legal bill totaling 10,000 British pounds (about $16,231).

Lloyds director Paul Fisher told Estate Agent Today: "We use an external (human resources) consultancy and made sure we followed all the correct procedures, to the letter. We put him on gardening leave and an inquiry was instigated by our managing director, who had had nothing to do with the original suspension.

"However, we were taken to tribunal and challenged on eight points."

"Fortunately, the tribunal ruled in our favor on every single point. In employment law, it appears you are guilty until proven innocent. It was therefore not something we could walk away from, even though we felt we had a rock-solid case. As a company, we went through considerable stress as a result of it."

Using porn to take his mind off his gambling habit?

Stewart claimed that he only used porn sites to take his mind off his gambling habit, which he argued was an illness similar to cancer.

A key argument in the case was that his behavior was acceptable because the firm was aware that employees used their computers for personal use and had no formal policy on the matter.

Although the tribunal rejected the claim stating that you did not need a formal policy to understand that viewing porn was inappropriate, it underlines the need for agents to have a formal disciplinary procedure which spells our exactly what is not acceptable behavior.

Lloyds is now undertaking civil proceedings against Stewart, who is working for another local estate agency, Scott Baines.

Read the full story at Estate Agent Today.

 

Copyright © 2009 Global Edge Marketing Ltd.

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