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City worker ‘harassed by boss’ refuses to be gagged

£270k payout:
Nathalie
Abildgaard
accused
Frederic
Michel-Verdier
PICTURES: REX/ PIXEL8000

A CITY worker who secured a £270,000 payout over alleged sexual harassment by her boss has gone public after refusing to sign a gagging clause.

Nathalie Abildgaard, 27, says she was repeatedly invited by Frederic Michel-Verdier to come back to his hotel room after a work event in Spain last year.

She says the married 50-year-old told her: ‘I know more about sex. I can teach you a lot of things.’

After she took Australian fund management firm IFM Investors to an employment tribunal, it denied any wrongdoing by Mr Michel-Verdier but paid her the £270,000 to settle the case.

Gagging clauses, or non-disclosure agreements, are often used by companies in such circumstances. But Ms Abildgaard, who was based in the company’s London office, told The Sunday Times: ‘It was really important to me that I was not gagged. I want to raise public awareness about the challenges people face when they’ve suffered workplace harassment.’

Mr Michel-Verdier remains a director of the company and is in line to receive up to £20million in bonuses.

In a joint statement with IFM, he said: ‘Both parties believe the terms of the settlement to be fair, and importantly, do not restrict Ms Abildgaard from discussing the case. All legal proceedings will now cease.’

Ms Abildgaard, who intends to give some of her settlement to a charity she has set up for victims of workplace discrimination, said it cost her more than £100,000 to bring the case.

Explaining that she had no children, mortgage or debts, she said: ‘The barriers to get access to justice are too high. I could only do this as I have no financial commitments.’

Buy my house but I’m staying put… rent-free

Deal: The home was put up for sale on the condition its owner could keep living there PICTURE: TONY KERSHAW/SWNS

A PROPERTY seller has put his home on the market — on condition that any buyer will let him live there rent-free.

Peter Yielding, 64, put his St Albans three-bed semi on the market for £350,000 — hundreds of thousands of pounds less than other homes in the area, where prices average £560,000.

Homeowner: Peter Yielding PICTURE: SWNS

But Rightmove’s description of the house, aimed at investors, said: ‘The current vendor would like to remain at the property rent free as a long-term tenant.’

Despite his request, Mr Yielding said he has been given two ‘firm offers’ from buyers happy to let him stay.

He added he was selling the house because he just needs the money.

Home movers ‘bored of Brexit’ as prices rise

HOUSE prices jumped by £3,447 or 1.1 per cent in April — the biggest month-on-month rise in more than a year.

The average asking price is £305,449 — down 0.1 per cent on a year ago, said Rightmove.

Estate agents say ‘bored of Brexit’ buyers and sellers just want to get on with moving.

The political uncertainty has seen a year-on-year fall for the number of homes put on the market with sales agreed.

But Rightmove director Miles Shipside said Brexit’s extension can give movers encouragement in ‘a window of relative certainty in uncertain times’.

BUSINESS BITES

■ TSB is ensuring its 5.2million customers are protected from scams. The bank’s ‘fraud refund guarantee’ covers them against transactional losses, including when customers are tricked into paying fraudsters.

■ DANGEROUS household goods, toys and cars could flood into the UK after Brexit, warns watchdog Which? Access must be secured to Europe’s ‘safety gate’ alert system to ‘properly protect’ the public from unsafe products, it said.

■ LORD STUART ROSE criticised Mike Ashley’s plans for a high street empire. The ex-M&S boss said Mr Ashley’s failed bid for Debenhams may be fortunate as it is better to be ‘lean and mean’ in retail today.