SACKED spa manager Joanne Givens says the Chester Grosvenor hotel needs to change the way it treats its staff.
The 29-year-old spoke of her relief this week after the hotel, owned by the Duke of Westminster, was found at an employment tribunal to have dismissed her last October without any prior warnings.
The hotel also unlawfully deducted about £1,749 from Miss Givens's final wage packet to cover the outstanding balance of a £3,100 car loan.
Tribunal chairwoman Elaine Donnelly said the hotel had no contractual right to deduct the remainder of the loan without Miss Givens's permission.
Neil Downey, acting for the Grosvenor Estate, argued the hotel had every right to dismiss Miss Givens for 'poor management' by giving her a month's notice.
He said being suddenly dismissed may leave a 'nasty taste in the mouth' but the employer is entitled to do it.
However, the tribunal panel said the hotel failed to follow legal procedures enshrined in Miss Givens's contract, which would have necessitated prior verbal or written warnings.
Miss Givens, who was this week relaxing at her parents' home in Skelmersdale, Lancashire, admits she had been told to delegate more and improve her staff management skills before being dismissed, but did not believe it was a formal warning.
As a result of her win, Miss Givens was awarded two months' pay - £2,500 - and the hotel was ordered to repay the outstanding loan balance back to her.
This week, Miss Givens said: 'All I wanted was a fair hearing.
'I am proud of the large contribution I made to the spa's success and I am glad, after being treated so unfairly, that justice has been done.
'I now feel the hotel should seriously re-view its personnel and training procedures for staff.'
Miss Givens, who worked at complexes in Britain and a hotel in New York before joining the Chester Grosvenor, added: 'The hotel says it dismissed me because of a lack of man-management skills.
'But I am satisfied that I achieved all the financial targets set to me throughout my time there, as confirmed by feedback from main board directors of the Grosvenor Estate.'
Miss Givens, who feels she was made a scapegoat for the hotel's financial failings last year, added: 'I am now looking forward to moving on in my life and career.'
Miss Givens started her role as spa manager on January 6 last year - the spa opened in May.
Not only charged with transforming the fortunes of the hotel, she was given the challenge of running the hotel one day a week - often after her shift in the spa.
Initially, things got off to a good start and she found herself being praised by Grosvenor board members, hotel managing director Jonathan Slater, and the Duchess of Westminster.
However, pressures soon followed and she claims she later found herself isolated by Mr Slater.
Added stress came from the fact that the hotel was losing £200,000 a month due to falling markets and the effect worldwide terrorist threats had on tourism.
Miss Givens's first difficulty arose after being told that hotel finance director, Hilary Peck preferred Claire Logie, deputy spa manager, for the role of manager.
'Therapists informed me that Miss Peck had been quizzing the team about my management abilities when she was in the spa receiving beauty treatments,' she said.
She claims she was increasingly isolated by the managing director and couldn't understand his change in behaviour.
Miss Givens said that hotel manager Ross Grieve told her that the MD was under a lot of pressure from the board to achieve financial results and that everyone else was put under pressure to perform.
Miss Givens, who developed a speech condition similar to laryngitis in July 2003, later fell out of favour with Mr Grieve.
She told the tribunal panel: 'Ross regularly visited the spa on an informal basis to see me. During these visits he often questioned me about my social life and whether or not I was dating anybody.
'In September these social visits diminished. His demeanour changed considerably and at no time did he produce any reports or issue any memos to me concerning my management style.
'Even when signed off for two weeks of complete voice rest I was still pressurised by Mr Grieve to work. He criticised me for burning myself out and losing my voice.
'Visits to my doctor and hospital consultant appointments have not identified a cause. A stress related origin is a possibility.' 'The October letter terminating my employment referred to 'lack of man-management skills in running the spa since opening in May'. Yet I was given a pay rise, confirmed in a letter in July,' Miss Givens told the tribunal panel.
When she returned from holiday in October she was told that the spa had achieved a revenue of £5,000 in her absence.
'The MD was pleased with this financial result and gave all the therapists, with the exception of me, a bottle of Champagne each,' Miss Givens told the tribunal.
Miss Givens added: 'Throughout my employment I had not been subject to any prior warnings and certainly did not receive any previous written warnings.
'This typifies a management style and culture that ignores the individual and imposes a view of employment relations that is at best synonymous with how Victorians treated their domestic servants.'