Executive called a ‘gyppo’ awarded £283,000 compensation
Published: 23 February 2018
An executive at a recruitment company who was taunted with being a tinker and a ‘gyppo’ has been awarded £283,000 compensation in an unfair dismissal and race discrimination case.
Edward Bell, who is from Belfast but now lives in
Manchester, worked for recruitment company Cordant People Ltd, formerly Prime
Time Recruitment Ltd.
He claimed that during his employment he was regularly
subjected to insulting remarks by his line manager, Sid Barnes. Mr Bell, who
has Romany heritage, was told that he looked like a tinker and asked where he
had left his horse and cart. He was also told that he was the only person who
could wear good clothes and still look like a gipsy.
Mr Bell said the abuse got worse after he raised concerns
about Cordant’s £21m takeover of another company. He was eventually dismissed
after making protected disclosures about the deal.
He took his case to the Employment Tribunal which ruled in
his favour. It held that he had been subjected to harassment related to race
and had been unfairly dismissed for making protected disclosures.
In giving its judgment, the Tribunal said: "We found
that, at various times, Mr Barnes referred to him as a 'pikey' or a 'paddy' and
said that the claimant (Mr Bell) was 'scruffy', 'dressed like a gipsy' or a 'gyppo'
or looked like a 'tinker'.
"We conclude that all these comments clearly related to
the claimant’s Irish origin and/or his Traveller background and that the
comments, therefore, clearly related to race."
Mr Bell was awarded £283,472 in compensation to cover
various factors including injury to feelings and loss of income.
Please contact Matthew Sigsworth in our Dispute
Resolution Team if you would like more information about the issues raised in this article
or any aspect of Employment Law.