Nightclub owner fined over unfair sacking of girlfriend

Richmond and Twickenham Times: Franco Lumba was not at the tribunal to contest the claims Franco Lumba was not at the tribunal to contest the claims

A Kingston nightclub owner has been ordered to pay compensation to a former partner he fired for hitting him on the head with a diary.

Franco Lumba, who owns Essence and the former Gala Bingo hall in Kingston, lost a five-figure sum after the tribunal ruled he fired his former partner unfairly.

Annmarie Harris, 37, from Ascot, was the manager of the Pink Gentleman’s Club and its nearby sister bar Vanilla, in Windsor, when she was fired by Mr Lumba, with whom she has a daughter.

Ms Harris, a former dancer, managed the club in the shadow of Windsor Castle. She was fired in January by Mr Lumba, 44, who alleged she had hit him with a diary.

She challenged the decision by taking her employer, FT Trading, to a tribunal where a panel awarded her £26,000 in compensation after he was found guilty of unfair dismissal by a tribunal.

The panel ruled that Ms Harris was owed unpaid wages and holiday pay and FT Trading had failed to issue her with written terms and conditions of her employment.

Ms Harris was awarded £17,770 for loss of earnings, £800 as a basic rate for being dismissed after two years of employment and £2,000 in unpaid wages and lieu time.

She was also given £4,680 for 23 days of holiday pay, £350 in statutory rights payment and £800 for not being served with any written terms and conditions.

The pair were in a relationship while she worked at the venues and they have a 17-month-old daughter.

Neither Mr Lumba nor his legal representatives were present at the tribunal hearing.

Following the tribunal, Ms Harris told the Daily Mail: “Those two clubs were my babies. I put everything I had into them. “I worked 70 hours a week, six days a week. I gave it everything.

“To be sacked in the way it happened was unfair. I would have preferred to still be in the job because I know I did a good job.”

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