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GMB Member Gets £64,000 In Premier Inn Ageism Case

Friday, September 23, 2016

GMB Member Awarded £64,000 In Age Discrimination Court Case Against Premier Inn

Discrimination based on age must not be tolerated by any worker, let alone one that had given so many years of hard work to their employer says GMB

GMB has won an Employment Tribunal claim against Premier Inn on behalf of a worker who was unfairly dismissed because of her age.

Marissa Terraneo, 69, who had worked as breakfast supervisor at the hotel for over a decade, was awarded £64,000 as well as a written apology from the company.

Ms Terraneo was originally dismissed from Premier Inn Hampstead on Friday, 2 January 2015 for smoking in what the company claimed was a non-designated area.

Claims of unfair dismissal, wrongful dismissal, direct age discrimination and Harassment were upheld by a tribunal on Thursday, May 26 2016. The tribunal found that there had been a “concerted effort” to force Ms Terraneo out and that there was a “culture of age discrimination” at the Hampstead hotel.

Premier Inn is the UK’s largest hotel brand with over 700 hotels in the UK, employing over 1,400 people in London alone.

Dennis McNulty, GMB branch secretary for Camden, said “Marissa was originally dismissed for smoking, in what the management at Premier Inn said was a non-designated area. Although the smoking area was outside and not against the law, the excuse they made was that it was only for guests and not staff, despite the fact that others who smoked there were not disciplined.

Premier Inn management chose to hold an investigation meeting on Christmas Eve, knowing the event was not a breach of any policy and that it happened in early October. From there, Marissa was subjected to a full disciplinary hearing, being shouted at and humiliated and was dismissed forthwith.

GMB took on Marissa’s case and appealed this decision on the grounds of unfair dismissal, and how, looking at the evidence, it was clearly a move to push Marissa out from her job.

Consistent bullying and harassment by Premier Inn management is totally unacceptable and has had a hugely detrimental effect on Marissa emotionally and physically. Discrimination based on age must not be tolerated by any worker, let alone one that had given so many years of hard work to their employer.

Sir Lenny Henry should be very embarrassed indeed to have his face plastered on ads for a company that treats its staff in this disgraceful manner.”


Contact: Dennis McNulty on 07803411315 or Helen Purcell on 07813 542046 or GMB press office on 07358 156846 or

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