THE former manager of a hotel has told a tribunal she was dismissed after she made allegations about fellow directors.
Jan Hampton, who was also a director and minority shareholder in the Egerton House Hotel in Blackburn Road, before leaving in November, 2012, claims she was removed after she made allegations of fraud and wrongdoing regarding the accounts of the hotel and was also unwilling to agree to the business being rebranded.
Her fellow former directors of Egerton House Hotel Bolton Ltd, James Davidson and Chris Wayne-Wills, strongly deny the claims and say Mrs Hampton was dismissed from the company because of poor performance.
The tribunal also heard claims from Mr Davidson that Mrs Hampton had wrongfully removed a £25,000 director’s loan she had originally put into the business and subsequently covered up the withdrawal in the accounts, which she denies.
It was put to Mr Davidson, who is currently Macdonald Hotel Ltd’s corporate finance manager, that he incorrectly added re-charging figures for services supplied to Egerton House by Macdonald Hotels Ltd to the accounts to make them and Mrs Hampton look weak.
Mr Davidson said: “These were legitimate charges processed by Macdonald hotels and I sincerely object to that suggestion.” Mrs Hampton also claims she suffered sexual harassment from her fellow directors.
It is alleged that at a board meeting at Macdonald’s headquarters in Scotland in March, 2012, Mr Davidson and Mr Wayne-Wills deliberately made Mrs Hampton sit between them, knowing that she was “a vulnerable woman” and then “slammed” a form in front of her to sign regarding the potential re-branding of the hotel.
Mr Wayne-Wills denied the claims.
He said: “I don’t recall there ever was such a form and this was a boardroom of 14 seats.
“I sat down first, Mrs Hampton then sat in a seat of her choosing, which was at least two seats away from mine, and Mr Davidson sat on the other side of the table.”
Mrs Hampton claims her refusal to agree to re-brand the hotel in the Macdonald name is one of the reasons for her dismissal in August, 2012.
Mr Davidson had previously suggested that a planning application had been submitted to Bolton Council to allow Macdonald Hotels Ltd to convert Egerton House into flats, but a spokesman for the council said it is yet to receive any such application.
The tribunal continues.