How Chris Hadrill successfully represented a client in his claim for religious belief discrimination in the Employment Tribunal on a ‘no win no fee’ basis and secured a settlement of £60,000 at the court door.
Under the Equality Act 2010, employees can make a claim to the Employment Tribual if they believe that they have been discriminated against, harassed or victimized because of their race (or any other ‘protected characteristic’). Potential claims include the following:
- Section 13 Equality Act 2010 – to make a claim to the Employment Tribunal for direct religious belief discrimination if they believe that they have been treated less favourably because of their religious beliefs (“direct religious belief discrimination”)
- Section 19 Equality Act 2010 – to make a claim to the Employment Tribunal for indirect religious belief discrimination if they believe that they have been discriminated against by a practice, criterion or provision of their employer’s (“indirect religious belief discrimination”)
- Section 26(1) Equality Act 2010 – to make a claim to the Employment Tribunal for religious belief-related harassment if they believe that they have been subjected to unwanted conduct related to their (or another person’s) religious beliefs which has the purpose or effect of creating a hostile work environment or humiliating them
- Section 27 Equality Act 2010 – to make a claim to the Employment Tribunal for victimization if they believe that they have been subjected to a detriment because they have, for example, threatened to make a claim for religious belief discrimination to the Employment Tribunal
MS (not his real initials), who is Sikh and wears a turban, started work at a large construction company in June 2014. On his induction day he explained to HR that he wore a turban, that he could not therefore wear a safety helmet, and that he believed that he was exempted from wearing a safety helmet under UK legislation. On 9 July 2014 he was summoned to a meeting with his line manager and told that he was going to be dismissed for a number of reasons, including the fact that he “refused” to wear a safety helmet.
As a result of his dismissal MS suffered depression and his relationships with his family suffered considerably. He was unable to get a job after he was dismissed and suffered a considerable loss of earnings as a result.
What we did
Chris Hadrill, a specialist employment solicitor at Redmans, represented MS on a ‘no win no fee’ basis in his Employment Tribunal claim against his former employer, including claims for compensation for loss of earnings, injury to feelings, aggravated damages, and personal injury. Chris dealt with the procedure of the claim and represented MS at the full Employment Tribunal hearing.
MS’s former employer made a number of offers of settlement as the case proceeded, including a £10,000 offer in early March, a £15,000 offer in early May, a £25,000 offer the week before the hearing was due to commence, and then a £50,000 offer on the day of the Employment Tribunal hearing. Chris told the former employer at each stage that his client was unwilling to settle the claim for less than £60,000.
On the morning of the start of the Employment Tribunal hearing MS’ former employer made an offer of £60,000 in full and final settlement, with Chris drafting the terms of the settlement agreement.