Leeds Utd worker was unfairly dismissed

Lucy WardImage copyright
Getty Images/BBC

Image caption

Lucy Ward was Leeds United’s education and welfare officer, and also worked for the BBC as a pundit at the 2015 Women’s World Cup in Canada

A Leeds United employee has won her case for unfair dismissal and sex discrimination against the club.

Lucy Ward claimed she was sacked because she was former head coach Neil Redfearn’s partner.

Ms Ward, who worked as the club’s education and welfare officer, travelled to Canada to work as a BBC pundit at the 2015 Women’s World Cup.

The club, which denied any wrongdoing, claimed she was sacked for exceeding her annual leave entitlement.

At the tribunal, employment judge Stephen Keevash said, on the balance of probabilities, club chairman Massimo Cellino told then club executive director Adam Pearson that Ms Ward had to leave the club.

There were no grounds to disbelieve Ms Ward’s testimony concerning her application for time off to commentate for the BBC, the judge added.

The tribunal previously heard club chairman Mr Cellino decided to sacked her because she and Mr Redfearn came as “a pair”.

The judge agreed with Ms Ward’s legal team that the club had taken a “sexist” view and ruled the reasons for her dismissal were “a sham”.

Ms Ward earlier told the tribunal she was “treated like a piece of meat” in the way she was sacked by the club.

A further hearing is due to take place to arrange compensation.

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