Religious Belief Harassment: Managers offensive comments about Muslims in the workplace

Poor equality and diversity in the workplace leads to Employment Tribunal reward of nearly £7,000. 

The claimant who was an employee of Royal Borough of GreenwichMs Aboulossoud (the claimant) was of mixed heritage and number of her direct family members including her father where part of the Muslim community 

During a meeting in January 2016 a discussion arose in relation to another crematorium in the surrounding areas and its Islamic section. When discussing this a member of management stated “Do they [management] really think that the residents of Bromley would want to be buried next to a Muslim? No offence to the Muslim community but that’s what they do, they move in and take over.” 

Following the meeting the claimant submitted a formal complaint regarding the manager in question and the comments she had made in relation to Muslims and a grievance process was completed. The outcome of the grievance process was that Ms Aboulossoud’s complaint was partly held, it was concluded that the manager had made the inappropriate comments/statements but added that they were not directed at the claimant. As a result, the manager was instructed to apologise to the claimant and was required to attend equality and diversity training. 

The claimant appealed the decision and was subsequently informed the original decision was upheld.  

At Employment Tribunal it was held that the comments made by the manager constituted harassment” under the Equality Act 2010 and additional in the failings of the respondents ability to deal with the claimant’s grievances accordingly added to the harassment.  

The ET awarded the claimant £6,000 and £846 in interest for the claimants injuries to feelings following the managements conduct 

This case reminds employers of the importance of an equality and diversity policy which is successfully implemented within the working environment to avoid such issuesDoes your business need assistance and support in relation to implementing a successful equality and diversity policy? Our team are here to assist, contact one of our qualified experts today on 0844 327 2293. 

Read full case details and judge of Abouloussoud vs Royal Borough Council here 

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