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.


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

Share →

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

Contact us

Please feel free to discuss your own position and concerns. Contact your nearest office on:

T: 020 3397 3603
E: enquiries@redmans.co.uk
W: www.redmans.co.uk


4.76 Average

204 Reviews


Excellent advice and customer service.

Posted 4 weeks ago

Aneet G

I would definitely recommend Redmans. Very impressed with service provided. They were extremely proactive in handling my case which made things easier for me. Provided sound advice and resolution. Special credit for this goes to Chris who dealt with my case with great determination and consideration.

Posted 1 month ago

Fern M

Very efficient and friendly

Posted 1 month ago

Neville S

A professional and friendly service, which I would highly recommend.

Posted 1 month ago

Daniel T

Extremely helpful and made a bad situation much more manageable. Where other solicitors seemed disinterested in my situation Redmans immediately made me feel like it was a team effort to achieve a more favourable outcome

Posted 1 month ago

Paul T

Excellent, quick and informative. Chris was a real star and gave me confidence during the uncertainty if a redundancy settlement.

Posted 1 month ago

Marina E

Felt in very capable hands was listened to and given excellent advice. Would not hesitate to recomend and use again if needed.

Posted 1 month ago

Rosa B

Fabulous service all round.

Posted 1 month ago


Redmans were quick to respond to my enquiry and dealt with my case professionally and personably. I received sound advice and was put at ease by Chris Hadrill, Partner.

Posted 1 month ago

Alkhas K

Excellent service.

Posted 1 month ago

Mathias G

Contacted them regarding my end of employment agreement. Chris Hadrill dealt with it and was done and handed back to employer same day more than happy with there service.

Posted 2 months ago

Mark W

Most professional from start to finish offering very a personal service. Most impressive and quick when dealing with the matters in hand.

Posted 3 months ago


Posted 3 months ago


I am very glad I came across Redmans Solicitors. Fantastic service!

Posted 3 months ago


Fantastic communication, always happy to answer queries, highly recommended.

Posted 3 months ago

Wavenie B

They were very straight to the point, friendly and understanding people. I felt they had my best interest. They were easy to get hold of, replies were almost instant. 5/5 for customer service

Posted 3 months ago

Christina P

Caroline was fantastic to work with - extremely knowledgeable, supportive, thorough and honest. I definitely recommend Redmans!

Posted 3 months ago


Very well done and fast support. Professional and reliable. Highly recommended!

Posted 3 months ago

Helene L

They were very knowledgable in the respected area in terms of change in law/regulations that is crucial for the clients who are seeking for legal arvice.

Posted 3 months ago

Sara R

Very helpful and wonderful advice

Posted 3 months ago

Marie D

very good service all digitalised

Posted 3 months ago