Scottish Trade Union Congress victimised ethnic minority worker

Published: 16 Aug 2018

An Employment Appeal Tribunal in Edinburgh has ruled the Scottish Trade Union Congress (STUC) victimised an employee when selecting him for redundancy.

Represented at his appeal by the Equality and Human Rights Commission, Mr Zaffir Hakim claimed that his selection for redundancy was based on his previous complaints of racial discrimination.

Zaffir Hakim, who is of Pakistani origin, was employed for over 11 years by the STUC, the representative organisation for Trade Unions in Scotland.

Mr Hakim claimed victimisation when he was selected for redundancy in early 2015 and argued that options for his redeployment within the STUC were not properly explored. He argued successfully that he was selected for redundancy because he had made an allegation of racial discrimination against the STUC the previous year. 

Welcoming the successful result, Lynn Welsh, Head of Legal for the Commission in Scotland, said:

'This is an important decision not just for Mr Hakim but for all employees in Scotland. Had the STUC’s appeal been successful this would have made it harder for workers to challenge victimisation by employers. We are pleased that the law has been clarified, and this should make future similar cases much more straightforward.’

Mr Hakim said:

'I am glad that this case is finally over and I can get on with my life. I enjoyed working for the STUC and I was shocked when I was selected for redundancy as they didn’t seem to have followed any of the normal procedures. I felt strongly that they did this to get rid me because I had made a complaint about discrimination before. It’s sad when you have to go to a Tribunal to challenge discrimination and I am still surprised that the STUC chose to fight this case, given that if they had won, workers’ rights could have been put back by many years.'

The case will now go back to the Employment Tribunal to consider the amount of the award to be made in Mr Hakim’s favour.

Read the full judgment on the GOV.UK website

For further information and comment please contact the Commission in Scotland’s press office on 0161 829 8102 or email the press office.