White worker racially discriminated in an Asian food manufacturing factory

A worker at an Asian food manufacturer was discriminated against and harassed on grounds of race after being told he didn’t understand the recipes because he was white. The claimant was a production operative on a zero-hours contract with an Asian food company based in Bradford and was told by his supervisor to “go and work for an English company”, the employment tribunal heard.

During the tribunal hearing, the supervisor claimed the comment had been a misunderstanding because of language difficulties, but the court ruled he could “clearly express himself in English”. The claimant regarded the comment as a breach of his dignity at work.  Following his complaint, the company claimed his performance was lacking and called him to a meeting to discuss this. He was not offered any further work – being on a zero hours contract.  The claimant claimed that he was told that because he was English and not Asian he “didn’t know the cuisine and didn’t know how to cook food properly”. 

He raised a grievance, asserting that the allegations had only been made after he complained of a racist remark and claimed that he was subjected to direct discrimination and that his treatment was racially motivated.

The tribunal ruled that he had been subjected to harassment and direct discrimination on the grounds of his race and victimised for undertaking a protected act. The case will now go to a remedy hearing.

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