Lincoln estate agents forged disciplinary hearing reports after unfairly dismissing woman 'like a piece of rubbish'

General view of Properties on the Market in Lincoln
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A Lincoln estate agency forged reports of disciplinary hearing after a former member of staff took to an employment tribunal for unfair dismissal. Pauline Pilawa worked for Spericle’s Properties on the Market from July 2019 until November 2021 when she was "discarded like a piece of rubbish”.

The 29-year-old was diagnosed with endometriosis in 2018, and in 2021 she was permitted to work from home after her condition left her "bedbound." Endometriosis is a long-term condition that can cause severe pain, and according to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence it affects one in ten women of reproductive age.

Whilst Pauline working from home worked well for both parties, the agency withdrew this arrangement and removed her from all company systems, including the WhatsApp group. The tribunal heard that she was forced to leave the job and told "if you are not well you should not be working."

Judge V Butler noted that "the respondent had permitted the adjustment previously but unilaterally withdrew it and made it clear in correspondence to her that it would not be reinstated." Despite the arrangement having worked well previously.

It was also found that the respondent Mr S Vaddaram, the director of the estate agency, failed to undertake any dismissal procedure without explanation, and fabricated documents to substantiate the dismissal. The tribunal received claims from the respondent that Pauline could not do her job, could not get along with colleagues, made constant mistakes and had several disciplinary meetings.

Judge Butler concluded that the documents relating to supposed disciplinary hearings were forged. Stating: "We conclude on the balance of probabilities that the disciplinary allegations and documents were fabricated for the purposes of this hearing.

"There was simply no indication in the contemporaneous documents or witness evidence that the claimant was subject to disciplinary action.” The report from the tribunal explains that the claimant was dismissed from her position due to her request to work from home to accommodate her disability, but the company did not want to accommodate this.

A potentially fair reason for dismissal was not found, and even if a reason had been found the respondent took no attempts to consult with the claimant or follow any procedures. Pauline's claims of unfair dismissal, disability discrimination and failure to make reasonable adjustments all succeeded and she was awarded £31,707.34.

This included a basic award of £499.44, £500 for her loss of statutory rights, £6,353.30 as a compensation award and £15,000 for injury to feelings. The remaining amount was made up of loss of earnings, ACAS uplift and interest.

Lincolnshire Live has contacted Spericle’s Properties on the Market for comment.