A travel agency manager has been awarded over £84,000 after an employment tribunal found he had been subject to race discrimination and victimisation by his former employer.

The employee had been called a “black monkey” in the officein front of the general manager’s son and an accounts assistant.

The employee formally complained in an email but was accused of having fabricated the allegation, “knowing that his employment was precarious because of his poor performance”. However, the tribunal found this “inherently unlikely” as warnings were never documented or referred to.The tribunal also questioned the seriousness of the performance issues as there was no evidence that these had been discussed with any employee or manager during the employment period.

The tribunal said that the employer’s response to the email was “unduly hostile, harsh and bound to antagonise the employee”, and said no reasonable manager would have responded in this way.

The employee took time off work due to stress and anxiety and on his return was invited to a meeting, during which he received a letter of dismissal stating that he had not grown into the role, the job was not right for him and he was being terminated with immediate effect.

The employee brought claims of race discrimination and automatic unfair dismissal to the employment tribunal which unanimously ruled that he had suffered race discrimination and victimisation by his ex-employer awarding him £84,358in compensation for injury to feelings, personal injury, loss of wages, expenses and aggravated damages. 

The case confirms that employees who raise complaints relating to discrimination on the grounds of their race or any other protected characteristic should not be subjected to a detriment or dismissed because they have raised the complaint.

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