Want to talk to an expert employment law solicitor?

You'll receive a callback from a specialist within an hour

In the case of Cape Industrial Services Ltd and Mr Mark McCoag: 3400891/2016 the Employment Tribunal held that, by consent, the claim of race-related harassment succeeded but that the claims for direct race discrimination and constructive dismissal succeeded. The Employment Tribunal awarded Mr Atkinson £8,000 compensation in respect of the claim of race-related harassment.

The facts in Cape Industrial Services Ltd and Mr Mark McCoag

Cape Industrial Services Ltd (“Cape”) provides maintenance services on onshore and offshore oil and gas installations. Mr Atkinson was a Rope Access Regional Manager at Cape.

On 28 July 2016 Mr Atkinson was present during a conversation between Mr McCoag and colleagues. During this conversation, when complaining about his son’s lack of application at work, and in Mr Atkinson’s hearing, Mr McCoag made the comment: “all I’ve done is work like a fucking nigger all my life”.

Mr Atkinson submitted a grievance regarding Mr McCoag’s comment. He then alleged that he had been subjected to the following allegedly discriminatory conduct by Cape:

  • That he was told that he could “expect some flack back” as a result of his grievance;
  • That he was told at a grievance meeting on 27 May 2016 that Mr McCoag’s comment was not considered to be gross misconduct;
  • That Cape had failed to engaged pro-actively and/or appropriately with him in the conduct of the grievance investigation (by not informing him of the outcome of Mr McCoag’s disciplinary proceedings);
  • That Cape treated racially abusive language as less serious than non-racially abusive language; and
  • That the above allegations of discrimination individually or cumulatively constituted a fundamental breach of Mr Atkinson’s contract of employment, rendering his resignation both unfair and discriminatory

The decision of the Employment Tribunal in Cape Industrial Services Ltd and Mr Mark McCoag

The parties agreed that Mr McCoag’s comment on 4 May 2016 constituted race-related harassment, and the Employment Tribunal upheld a claim for race-related harassment (under section 26 Equality Act 2010).

A guide on the law relating to harassment at work can be found here.

The Employment Tribunal dismissed, however, Mr Atkinson’s claims for direct race discrimination (under section 13 Equality Act 2010) and constructive unfair dismissal – the Tribunal found that the “flack” comment had not been made, that Mr Atkinson had not been informed at the relevant meeting that Mr McCoag’s conduct was not gross misconduct, that Cape had engaged proactively and appropriately with Mr Atkinson with regards to the grievance process, and that Mr Atkinson had not resigned because of a fundamental breach of contract.

A guide on the law relating to race discrimination can be found here.

Our solicitors’ view on Cape Industrial Services Ltd and Mr Mark McCoag

Chris Hadrill, a specialist employment solicitor at Redmans, commented on the case: “Employers must ensure that fair, impartial and thorough grievances were undertaken (as the Tribunal found had been the case in this case), in order to ensure that internal mediation procedures are as successful as possible and, further, that potential discrimination cases are avoided”.

The judgment of the Employment Tribunal can be found here.

About

Redmans Employment Team deal with employment matters for both employers and employees, including drafting employment contracts and policies, advising employers and employees on compromise agreements, handling day-to-day HR issues, advising on restructures, and handling Employment Tribunal cases for both employers and employees Call 020 3397 3603 to speak to one of the members of our employment team or email us on enquiries@redmans.co.uk. Redmans have offices in Richmond, Chiswick, Hammersmith, Fulham, Kingston, Wimbledon, Ealing, Kings Cross and Marylebone (meetings strictly by appointment only).

Want to talk to an expert employment law solicitor?

You'll receive a callback from a specialist within an hour

Our awards

Request a callback

    Your first name (required)

    Your last name (required)

    Your email (required)

    Your telephone number (required)

    Brief details of your enquiry

    Testimonials

    4.80 Average

    371 Reviews

    Jonathan L

    The service I received was friendly and professional. I appreciated the timely communications and Mel was always available for any questions I had. I'd definitely recommend Redmans and will use them in a heartbeat should the situation arise again.

    Posted 4 days ago

    Glyn B

    Provided a great service, covered all my requirements

    Posted 4 days ago

    Fidel A

    Redmans Solicitors recently helped me navigate a recent employment termination settlement agreement. Chris Hadrill is very professional and you will be in good hands with him. I score Redmans 4 out of 5 because things had to move fast and felt the team member assigned to my case wasn't very responsive at times. Having said that, I was very happy with the outcome and have no hesitation in recommending their services.

    Posted 5 days ago

    Nigel A

    Chris Hadrill is hugely impressive - the right blend of assured calm and savvy professionalism. I've already recommended him to friends and family.

    Posted 6 days ago

    Matt O

    I was hugely impressed with the ease of being able to work with Redmans Solicitors and their professional approach. Mel was really clear around the process, and costings required and I felt comfortable throughout. I would certainly recommend.

    Posted 6 days ago

    Bryan G

    Great response, and also happy to assist

    Posted 6 days ago

    David L

    I was made a settlement offer by my employer to terminate my emplyment early. Redmans helped me understand the offer, and ensured that it was fair for someone in my position. They made a very stressful situation much easier. Excellent service.

    Posted 1 week ago

    Anonymous

    I can highly recommend Redmans. The service was professional and prompt and I would not hesitate to use them again. Thanks

    Posted 1 week ago

    Anonymous

    Overall I am satisfied with the performance from Redmans. The reason I have given 4 stars is that I had quite a lot difficulty in contacting the representative which was initially nominated for me. However, when I contacted Chris instead, he was excellent over the phone and secured a great outcome in short order. I would recommend Redmans Solicitors.

    Posted 1 week ago

    Anonymous

    Chris and Redmans were a great help. Effective and efficient, quick response from my first enquiry and then straightforward and attentive throughout with ultimately a positive outcome. I will use them again and recommend them.

    Posted 2 weeks ago

    Marie P

    Great service, quick responses, good advice and all in a no nonsense, no jargon manner. Would definitely recommend.

    Posted 2 weeks ago

    Anonymous

    Rana was amazingly thorough and professional!

    Posted 2 weeks ago

    Anonymous

    I am extremely happy with the legal advice I was provided with. My case was resolved to the best of my expectations. Thank you very much for your professional help.

    Posted 2 weeks ago

    Shahzad R

    Chris and his team were excellent. They provided sound advice and consultation that resulted in more cash than was offered. Would definitely recommend.

    Posted 2 weeks ago

    Sanjay B

    I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mel Chin, for all her support during my settlement process. Where she provided a professional service and was understanding. I would confidently recommend Redmans Solicitors to my friends and family. Thank you and wishing you all a Merry Christmas.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Paul O

    Excellent response time and communication during my dealings with Redmans

    Posted 1 month ago

    Gil T

    I don’t normally write reviews, but thought it was time on this occasion. Just wanted to say that I highly recommend Redmans - especially Rana Tandon, who helped me navigate around my employment contract. Rana was meticulous and thorough and all over my needs. Would I use Redmans again ? ..absolutely

    Posted 1 month ago

    Stephanie D

    Very thorough and professional service. I was very nervous about my employment case, as I had never dealt with anything like it before. However, the solicitors who handled my case made sure I understood everything. I was never kept in the dark and Redmans kept me constantly informed about what was going on with my case. I would definitely recommend Redmans Solicitors

    Posted 1 month ago

    Richard S

    Chris and Sacha were great throughout the entire process. Chris was very helpful once the initial discussions with my company began and before we agreed there was a case. Sacha was very responsive, patient and helpful throughout ensuring I felt I had the right information to make the best decision on next steps. A close friend and wife have both used Redmans in the past few years for unfair dismissals and the service continues to be first-class and I would strongly recommend them again. They definitely help reduce the anxiety that comes with uncertainty around new processes and situations. Thank you!

    Posted 1 month ago

    Jianya

    Very nice and patient went through the whole document with me.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Susan L

    Very helpful and led me through the redundancy process.

    Posted 1 month ago