Cleaner bullied by Christian conference centre manager

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A former housekeeper who won £43,000 in compensation after she was bullied by her boss while working at a Christian spirituality and conference centre in Sheffield has spoken out about her ordeal.

Single mum Sadia Raza was ridiculed and humiliated by general manager Graham Holland in front of colleagues at Whirlow Grange, an employment tribunal found.

Mrs Raza, aged 49, said her ‘sunny disposition’ was wrecked after she was sacked from her cleaning job for gross misconduct.

She was accused of sexually harassing four men – allegations deemed to be false by the tribunal judge.

The tribunal heard Mr Holland once picked up a cheesecake and said: “If I drop this plate Sadia will lick it up off the floor.”

He also criticised the way she made up bedrooms and said: “Is this how they run hotels in Pakistan?”

Mr Holland, who is married with three children, made lewd comments and swore at Mrs Raza, reducing her to tears, the tribunal found.

Mrs Raza, who worked part time at the centre – where the Archbishops of York and Canterbury have both stayed in the past – told the tribunal Mr Holland was ‘aggressive and insulting’ towards her and treated her like a child.

She won her claim for unfair dismissal and victimisation and partly succeeded in a harassment claim.

All Mrs Raza’s claims of sex and race discrimination, victimisation and unfair dismissal were denied by Whirlow Grange and Mr Holland, who lives in Chesterfield.

Sheffield tribunal and employment judge Philip Rostant said she had suffered ‘appallingly unfair treatment’ during the disciplinary procedure and the panel accepted she was ‘upset and humiliated’ by Mr Holland’s behaviour.

Mrs Raza, a single mum who is divorced with a 17-year-old son said: “Mr Holland told other staff he was a born Christian but his behaviour towards me was hardly Christian-like.

“He started bullying me to the point where I used to cry at work. He barked at me like a bulldog and swore at me for no reason.”

The tribunal award includes compensation for injury to feelings, lost and future earnings, unfair dismissal and victimisation.