Harassment on the grounds of race

A former employee of a well known bakery chain has won a race harassment case after his manager tore his mask off in anger to warn him and two other junior black employees they would be in ‘big trouble’ if they took allegations of racism further.

The colleagues were unhappy with how their manager was dealing with their allegations of racial abuse.  They raised concerns after being investigated in June 2021 over accusations they took unauthorised breaks during work and falsified their attendance records. The manager had warned if they took the allegations any further then they would be in trouble.  The colleagues were then dismissed due to the alleged unauthorised breaks.

One employee submitted a claim for race harassment stating that the employer did not conduct the investigation fairly.  An award is yet to be determined.

This case highlights the importance of ensuring that managers maintain appropriate behaviour even when under pressure.  Further, investigations must be conducted by well-trained managers, or there is a risk of failing to follow the ACAS disciplinary code and being subject to litigation. 

121 HR Solutions regularly supports managers undertaking investigations and should you require any assistance with this subject, contact enquiries@121hrsolutions.co.uk.

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