Employment Tribunal Awards, Race Discrimination and Unfair Dismissal

An assistant director of nursing won her case for race discrimination against her former employer, the University Hospitals Trust, and was awarded £115,000 compensation.

Dr Saiger was born in the UK and is of mixed race. She was told during an appraisal that she was the “wrong colour and wrong culture” for Cumbria, where she worked. Her employer denied using those words in an Employment Tribunal but the tribunal ruled that he had more likely than not used those words and found she had been unfairly dismissed and subject to discrimination on grounds of race.

The employee later commented that she felt as if she was being told that she was not going to be promoted to the post of director from her post as assistant director on the basis of her race rather than her ability to do the job. She was sacked after raising a grievance about her treatment.

In a similar case, Derby Specialist Fabrication Ltd v Burton, the employee was awarded just over £19,000 in compensation for constructive dismissal and racial discrimination which included an award for injury to feelings.

In this case the Employment Tribunal found that the employer allowed widespread racial abuse in the workplace and that the personnel manager did not appear to understand that black employees might find it offensive to be called racially abusive names.

If you have been refused promotion or training on the basis of your race, colour or ethnic origin, you could have a claim for racial discrimination. Unlike unfair dismissal where you have to have worked for your employer for at least 12 months, there is no length of service limit for racial discrimination.

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