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Agency pays £20,000 to employee for Injury To Feelings

A high profile lettings agency has had to pay almost £22,000 in damages to an employee who raised concerns about safety in a branch.

Local media in the Midlands say that the staff member raised issues about safety in the Evesham branch of Sheldon Boseley Knight; this was at the time of the pandemic in 2020 and followed an experience with a tenant who visited the branch and was unaware about social distancing issues.

The Cotswold Journal reports: “The employee had advised how to stop the spread of coronavirus in the office by recommending the company install screens and more signage for customers in July 2020.”


The report goes on to says: “But the company's owner, Mike Cleary, condemned the employee for ‘total ignorance’ and questioned how ‘someone is so reckless’."

An employment tribunal found that Sheldon Bosley Knight had wrongly treated the employee by furloughing her, declining to give her a Christmas bonus which other employees received, and ignoring the health and safety concerns raised.

The report says the agency believed the employee was at fault for breaching guidelines, whereas in fact it was the agency that had breached them.

A spokesperson at the tribunal said: "The evidential picture showed quite clearly that Mr Cleary was frustrated to have received the claimant's disclosure. It created a mindset where he formed a hostile and negative view of the claimant and this led him to treat the claimant detrimentally in the ways we have identified. We were also satisfied that this was an ongoing situation where the incidents causing detriment were linked to each other rather than a succession of unconnected acts." 

The agency has been ordered to pay the employee £20,000 for injury to feelings, £1,743.76 for loss of earnings, £50 for the Christmas bonus and £96.87 for pension contributions.

Letting Agent Today has asked the agency for a response. In the Cotswold Journal a spokesperson for the agency is quoted as saying: “Sheldon Bosley Knight always has, and always will, put the safety of its staff at the top of its priority list.”

The agency recently acquired a small independent lettings business - Stratford-based Charles Saville Limited which had some 150 fully managed properties on its books.

On its website Sheldon Boseley Knight describes itself as “the leading land and property company in Warwickshire and the surrounding areas” and states: A”s one of the biggest employers in Stratford-upon-Avon, we’re always looking out for new talent to recruit and invest heavily in continuous professional development to ensure our staff are consistently ahead of the game.”

The Cotswold Journal story can be seen here.

  • icon
    • G W
    • 01 March 2024 08:15 AM

    Ridiculous….. there’s more to this story.

  • icon

    Sounds like a cheap way to get rid of a bad apple. Expensive but worth every penny.

  • Roger  Mellie

    these days I cant even begin to have a discussion about conduct or behaviour without running it past Legal. Everything take twice as long as it used to just to be allowed to point out the bleeding obvious.

  • icon

    Totally subjective, how can loss of feelings be "evidential ". Surely staff should be able to take the rough with the smooth?


    From personal experience, sometimes the rough can be very rough indeed.


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