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Assistant manager at pizza restaurant Croma gets £23,000 payout after claims of 'toxic and coercive' culture

The former assistant manager of a popular Manchester restaurant chain has been awarded just over £23,000 for constructive dismissal. Sarah Abell worked for Croma, a pizza restaurant with branches across the region, for more than 10 years but resigned in October 2021 citing bullying and harassment from management.

The decision on July 20 from Employment Judge Holt awarded Ms Abell £23,266 which was a mix of compensation for lost earnings and an unlawful deduction of wages. Coversale Ltd T/A Croma Restaurant did not acknowledge the tribunal proceedings or file papers in their own defence.

Ms Abell described to the Manchester Evening News that the working environment became 'toxic and coercive' from around November 2019 leading to her being signed off work with stress issues.

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She also claims management broke rules regarding grievances and appeals she raised as well as not properly dealing with health requirements when she did return to work.

Ms Abell then had to wait months to be paid after resigning in October last year, leading to the case being taken to the employment tribunal. Ms Abell was awarded just under £14,000 for not being paid from handing in a notice in October to January the next year and loss of 'statutory rights'. She was also given more than £6,500 for 'unlawful deduction of wages'.

The directors of the business have been approached for a comment but failed to respond.

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