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Housekeeper Paid £1.41 An Hour And Made To Sleep In Cellar Wins Payout From Boss

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Housekeeper Paid £1.41 An Hour And Made To Sleep In Cellar Wins Payout From Boss

An elderly housekeeper has been awarded more than £50,000 in compensation after taking her boss to a tribunal after he paid her £1.41-an-hour and refused to let her take any annual leave.

Julie Miles, 69, was working 60 hour weeks where she would be cleaning and cooking at the Great Western Hotel in Abergavenny, Wales.

When her day's graft was over with, she would go into the cellar to sleep on a chair given to her by employer Gary Hesp.

The hotel that Mrs Miles worked at. Credit: Booking.com
The hotel that Mrs Miles worked at. Credit: Booking.com
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Mrs Miles, who was treated 'as a servant', has now won a tribunal and has been awarded over £50,000 in compensation.

The tribunal heard how vulnerable Mrs Miles had no where else to stay so lived in the laundry room in the basement of the hotel, but had to cater to Mr Hesp's every 'beck and call'.

In the three years and five months of working at the establishment, Mrs Miles was paid between £84 and £99 a week, which is below the national minimum wage.

The hearing was told that Mrs Miles' pay was so low because £80 was taken off for accommodation - despite only being given a chair in a cold room.

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On top of that, the 67-year-old married manager was also found to have sexually harassed the housekeeper on three separate occasions when, according to the Metro, he slid his arm around her waist.

Credit: Booking.com
Credit: Booking.com

When it came to Mrs Miles trying to take some annual leave, she was told: "We can't spare you. You worked last year without a day off - you can do it again."

Mrs Miles was expected to clean the entire property alone while Mr Hesp worked his full time job as a bathroom salesman, meaning that the housekeeper would keep the hotel running.

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Employment Judge Laura Jane Howden-Evans said: "From December 2014 onwards, the relationship that existed between (Mrs Miles) and (her employers) was one of master and servant.

"It was only by (her) complying with (their) every instruction, completing work quickly, turning her hand to whatever was necessary to get the rooms ready and more importantly by being at Mr Hesp's beck and call around the clock, that Mr Hesp was able to keep the hotel ticking over whilst working fulltime in Devon and Cornwall."

Credit: Google Maps
Credit: Google Maps

The hearing found that Mr Hesp had exploited Mrs Miles' financial difficulties leaving her feeling powerless to say or do anything.

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She has now been awarded a total of £55,194 for unauthorised deductions to her wages, compensation for unfair dismissal, money for holiday not taken and compensation for injury to feelings as a result of the sexual harassment she was subjected to.

LADbible has contacted the Great Western Hotel in Abergavenny for comment.

Featured Image Credit: Google Maps

Topics: UK News, News, UK, Hotel, Wales

Rebecca Shepherd
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