Wednesday, 17 October 2018
A MULTI-MILLIONAIRE couple have been ordered to pay £8,000 to their former live-in housekeeper for sacking him unfairly.
Robin Pyke fell out with Jane Gottschalk after she discovered his boyfriend was staying at their home in Harpsden Woods without her knowledge and that he was looking after someone else’s dog while charging the owner £500 a week.
He was eventually sacked for being “over-familiar” and refusing to drive her mother to Heathrow airport on his day off.
Mr Pyke claimed at an employment tribunal in Reading last month that he was unfairly dismissed after the couple placed him under so much stress that he was forced to seek professional help and that he eventually received a text stating: “f*** off and leave my house.”
In his judgment, Judge Gumbiti-Zimuto said he was satisfied Mrs Gottschalk’s account of the disputes were “more likely” to be the accurate version of events.
Referring to the incident of the airport lift, he said: “I am satisfied that it was the claimant’s conduct which caused the dismissal. It was a potentially fair reason for dismissal.”
However, the judge added that he was not satisfied that there was any investigation.
“A reasonable employer would have asked, ‘why have you refused?’ or something like that before dismissing the claimant,” he said.
“I am satisfied the claimant was unfairly dismissed.”
Mr Pyke had been a gardener at the home of Mrs Gottschalk, a company director, and her financier husband Maximilian.
He was appointed house manager in September 2014 when the couple moved to Hong Kong, leaving him to look after the property.
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