Misunderstanding a Scottish accent was not racist!

A Scottish Royal Mail employee accused an English colleague of being racist after saying he ‘couldn’t understand’ his accent, a tribunal has heard.

An employment tribunal dismissed the claims after ruling that the actual reason the employee couldn’t understand his colleague was not because of his Scottish accent, but because he was talking too fast. The employer denied discriminating against him or harassing him on the grounds of his race as a Scot.

The employment judge dismissed the race claim, ruling that the claimant did not satisfy the tribunal and that on the balance of probability that his colleague screwed up his face and said several times ‘I can’t understand you’ was an act of race discrimination.”

At 121 HR Solutions we are finding that increasingly, grievances and employment tribunal claims are containing an element of alleged discrimination. In this case it was unfounded. But if you have a concern about a current grievance, please contact us on 0800 9995 121 if you would like assistance to manage it.

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