Creating a fairer Britain
31 July 2012
The Equality and Human Rights Commission has helped a worker who whistle-blew on racism to win his discrimination claim against Royal Mail. Mr Abdul Musa settled today for an undisclosed sum in compensation, after the Commission funded his case and represented him at the employment tribunal.
The tribunal in Manchester agreed that Mr Musa was victimised at work and unfairly dismissed by his employer because he had exposed the racist behaviour of his colleagues. It found that managers at the depot in Blackburn had known racism was an issue in the depot, but failed to act to protect Mr Musa.
An internal investigation upheld his complaints, after which Royal Mail sacked one worker and disciplined others. But the Employment Tribunal said the investigation was “shambolic”.
The Tribunal also said managers had failed to investigate Mr Musa’s complaints that union representatives were backing an unofficial campaign to have him sacked by fabricating and colluding in evidence.
The Tribunal concluded that Royal Mail saw Mr Musa as a problem and that his employer decided only his dismissal would resolve the negative reaction from other workers in the depot.
John Wadham, General Counsel for the Commission, said:
“The Equality Act protects people from being victimised for making complaints about any form of discrimination in the workplace. It also says employers have a responsibility to take complaints seriously and to put a stop to discrimination.
“The fact that his colleagues were acting unlawfully was not enough to stop them from victimising Mr Musa. People facing discrimination also need an advocate, such as the Equality and Human Rights Commission, to make sure that the law is obeyed.”
For more press information contact the Commission’s media office on 020 3117 0255, out of hours 07767 272 818.
For general enquiries please contact the Commission’s national helpline: England 0845 604 6610, Scotland 0845 604 5510 or Wales 0845 604 8810.
Musa v Royal Mail has taken a long time to come before the Employment Tribunal because of procedural delays and applications along the way. The Race Relations Act was in force at the time of his unfair ismissal on 16 July 2007. This legislation is now part of the Equality Act 2010. The Employment Tribunal judges issued the ruling earlier this year. A settlement was reached on 31 July 2012 ahead of the remedy hearing to decide the compensation award.
The Equality and Human Rights Commission is a statutory body established under the Equality Act 2006, which took over the responsibilities of Commission for Racial Equality, Disability Rights Commission and Equal Opportunities Commission. It is the independent advocate for equality and human rights in Britain. It aims to reduce inequality, eliminate discrimination, strengthen good relations between people, and promote and protect human rights. The Commission enforces equality legislation on age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, and encourages compliance with the Human Rights Act. It also gives advice and guidance to businesses, the voluntary and public sectors, and to individuals.