LANDOWNER: The late 18th Earl of Strathmore
LANDOWNER: The late 18th Earl of Strathmore

A TRIBUNAL has found a shoot manager was wrongfully dismissed from the late Earl of Strathmore’s Holwick Estate, but it has refused him additional compensation.

An employment tribunal held in South Shields heard how Nicholas Emson had been a “minder” as well as a shoot manager for the 18th Earl of Strathmore, Michael Bowes-Lyon, prior to his death in 2016. Mr Emson’s position was made redundant in February last year, after 14 years of service.

In summing up evidence given during the hearing, employment judge Pamela Arullendran said Mr Emson claimed to have carried out extra duties for the earl “as a friend”.

She added: “The claimant says that, in addition to his duties on the moor as a shoot manager, he also carried out duties as a minder for the late Earl, helping him when he was drunk and assisting him with family matters such as his two divorces.”

The judge also heard evidence that Holwick Estate had suffered financial losses since 2015 and there had been zero income in 2016.

The judge summed up: “Mr Younger goes on to say in his email that the Trust would be in debt of £110,000, plus they were not expecting to have any grouse income that year.

“The claimant accepted in cross-examination that the shoot had been losing money and that there was a shortage of birds for the current shoot season.

“However, he argues that the shoot is cyclical and goes up and down over a period of seven years.”

The tribunal heard that as a result of the financial situation, Mr Emson had been offered to take retirement or be made redundant.

His post was ultimately made redundant and Mr Emson was given 12 weeks’ pay in lieu of notice and a statutory redundancy payment.

The judge found that Mr Emson had not been unfairly dismissed but the claim for wrongful dismissal “is well-founded because the respondent did not have the right

to summarily dismiss the claimant”.

She concluded: “However, as the respondent has already made a payment in respect of 12 weeks’ notice pay, there is no compensation to be awarded against the respondent because the claimant has not proved he has suffered any losses as a result of the breach of contract.”

The hearing took place last year but the judge issued a

full report on the matter last week.