A FORMER night porter at a luxury hotel in East Lancashire has failed in a discrimination claim after she underwent gender realignment procedures

Clarissa Schmidt had tried to allege she was sacked from the Oak Royal, in Withnell, because her bosses had treated her unfairly while she was transitioning, an employment tribunal in Manchester was told.

But an employment judge has ruled that Miss Schmidt had the benefit of legal advice at the time and had not sought to make the allegations before it was too late legally.

She had originally claimed, in a case brought against the hotel's owners Hoghton Leisure, that she had been unfairly dismissed from the four-star Bury Lane hotel and was owed sick pay and holiday pay.

The tribunal was told that Miss Schmidt, who was assisted at the hearing by a Hungarian interpreter, had started work with her employer at the start of 2016.

But there was a break in her employment before she was rehired as a kitchen porter/housekeeper, the hearing was told.

In September of that year she is said to have informed her bosses she was undergoing gender reassignment. That month she also suffered a back injury in a road accident, which led to her taking sick leave.

She failed to provide sick notes after a certain length of time, the tribunal heard, as both the claimant and her partner, also employed at the hotel, believed their services were no longer required.

Miss Schimdt attempted to return to work in March 2017 but was told her employment had been terminated at the end of February and her P45 had been issued.

James Bromige, for Hoghton Leisure, said the unfair dismissal and sick pay and holiday pay claims had been lodged too late.

He also told the hearing that an application to introduce the discrimination claim was wrong as Miss Schmidt had indicated she would be undergoing gender reassignment that May, after she had left.

Dismissing all the claims, Judge David Franey said: "The claimant had access to specialist advice from the CAB in early April. She also had access to a solicitor.

"Had she thought there was any element of transgender discrimination in her dismissal she could have sought advice and brought the claim in time."