A4E, the training company which provides “back-to-work” services for the Government, has been found liable for unfair dismissal and race discrimination at the Employment Tribunal after a two-year legal battle.
Mr Rohim Ullah worked for the company as a manager until 2011 when he was sacked for allegedly failing to follow proper procedures in the workplace. Mr Ullah, who believed that he had been racially discriminated against by the company in his dismissal, subsequently took his claims for unfair dismissal and race discrimination to the Employment Tribunal.
The former A4E’s claims were heard by the Employment Tribunal earlier this year. Mr Ullah gave evidence at the Tribunal that he had been subjected to disciplinary proceedings relating to failure to follow proper procedures but that white two colleagues of his – who were also managers and had had similar allegations made against them – were not investigated properly by A4E. Mr Ullah also claimed that one of these managers had shouted at an Iraqi customer that he should “fuck off back to his own country”.
The Employment Tribunal found in Mr Ullah’s favour in his claims for race discrimination and unfair dismissal, finding that the firm had ignore dthe allegations made against the two white members of staff and that Mr Ullah – who is black – was “the subject of unlawful detriment in facing disciplinary proceedings leading to his dismissal and that he was unlawfully dismissed as an act of race discrimination.” Although there are not specifics available regarding the amount to be paid out by A4E it has been reported by the Guardian that the firm is facing an award of £50,000 in compensation to Mr Ullah.
A4E has made a statement that “it was proud to have a diverse community of people within its organisation and that it had in place robust policies to protect their rights and to ensure that all staff were treated with dignity and respect”. It is believed that A4E are seeking to appeal against the award of compensation made.
Mr Ullah, who is from Yorkshire, stated that he was “very pleased” at winning the case and said: “I believe the reason why they discriminated against me was they had to find a scapegoat [for failures in the office] … and they thought, we’ll get this black person here.”
Chris Hadrill, an employment law solicitor at Redmans, commented on the case: “Companies must ensure that the policies and procedures that the follow at work are not discriminatory in any sense or they could find themselves subject to an Employment Tribunal claim under the Equality Act 2010.