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Unfair Dismissal: Predilection For Porn Cuts Against Estate Agent

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The reports Anthony Stewart, 33, a former sales manager for Lloyds estate agents in Lilliput, Poole has lost his claim for  

Lloyds dismissed Mr. Stewart for visiting "inappropriate" websites on his office computer.  The employment tribunal ruled he had spent "hundreds of hours over a number of years" viewing pornographic images and gambling online.

Lloyds caught Mr. Stewart after he downloaded a virus onto his computer, which rendered it inoperative.  The company fired him from his £54,000-a-year job for gross misconduct.

Mr. Stewart sued, however, for and claimed £45,000 in lost earnings.  He explained he had an addiction to online gambling and accessed the porn sites to distract him from playing poker.  And he argued Lloyds knew employees used the internet for personal use and had no policy banning them viewing inappropriate websites.

After the tribunal gave its ruling, Lloyds managing director Tom Doyle said: "We are relieved that this whole, unnecessary event is now over. The whole affair has left a very sour taste in the mouth.  After 14 months of unwarranted stress and worry, not to mention a legal bill approaching £10,000, we are at a loss as to why such a clear-cut case was ever taken to court."

What is unfair dismissal?

Dismissal can be unfair for a variety of reasons.  For example. 

Under the Employment Rights Act, only employees who have a year's continuity of service at the date of dismissal, or who have been dismissed without notice and are within a week of gaining a year's continuity of service, are eligible to claim .

You must also comply with to lodge a claim for unfair dismissal.  Normally, a claim must be brought within three months of the last day of employment.

** Additional Information & Advice **

You can obtain further information about on .

Depending on the circumstances of your case, however, it may be better to speak with a .  You can be in your area for free via solicitor matching services, which can also help you to understand the best course of action for your situation and whether you are ready to hire a solicitor.

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