Estate agent who won £180k payout over nursery run blasts '1970s boss' who put in 'roadblocks' halting career after baby

AN estate agent who won £180,000 after her employer refused to let her leave early to pick her daughter up from nursery has blasted her "1970s boss" who put in "roadblocks" to halt her career.

Sales manager Alice Thompson wanted to work four days a week finishing at 5pm rather than 6pm when the nursery closed.


The new mum, from Weybridge, Surrey, was forced to resign from her £120,000-a-year job when her employer Paul Sellar said he could not afford for her to work part-time.

Alice told The Sun: "It was really disappointing and heartbreaking to have to resign from a job I had progressed in. I had a baby and then faced roadblocks trying to get back to work.

"I had just assumed that coming back to work you could have a discussion with your employer about flexible working.

"The early years are so important and the childcare burden normally falls on the mother to work out.

"I had spent a decade building my career in London. I started in 2007 on £10,000 and 10 per cent commission and worked my way up to be a Sales Manager.

"I had expected to continue to flourish but after giving birth it just stopped. I wanted to return to work but my employer was really closed to any discussions about flexible working."

Alice said her situation "felt like something out of the 1970s, not 2021".

She quit her job in December 2017 and took the agency, a small firm based in Marylebone, London, to an employment tribunal claiming sex discrimination.

The panel agreed that she had been discriminated against by Mr Sellar's denying her flexible working request.

It awarded her £184,961 for loss of earnings and injury to her feelings and said: "The requirement to work to 6pm did place her at a disadvantage as she would not be able to get there in time."

She added: "You want to be able to be around for your kids and also continue your career. You shouldn’t have to choose.

"I have had a really overwhelming response and support. A lot of women who reached out to me who have gone through similar situations.

"I feel like nothing has changed for a generation. I really hope something will change. Even if one employer decided to look at flexible working that would be a win for me.

"That would set a precedent for the future and it would help women right now. That is what drove me.

"It can’t be the same situation when my daughter grows up."

The Sun approached Manors estate agents for comment.

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