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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 44924
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I have a full hearing at an employment tribunal in April.

Customer Question

I have a full hearing at an employment tribunal in April. The matter involves unlawful discrimination on the grounds of race. As part of the disclosure process, the Respondent has confirmed in writing that it has failed to follow any aspect of its equal opportunities policy. For example, in the policy it says:
"• set equality targets, monitor outcomes and develop relevant action plans;
• review all provision to ensure elimination of unequal treatment of staff, pupils and the
wider school community;
• establish monitoring systems;
• report to governors on the results of assessments, consultations and monitoring;
• train staff on equalities issues;
Any behaviour that falls below these
standards is unacceptable to the Governing Body and potentially constitutes misconduct."
The school has failed to disclose any documentation that proves they have done any of the above. In fact they have confirmed that they do not have equality targets or equality action plans. The school is based in London and has never had any diversity in middle or senior management.
It is my assertion that the school has wilfully disregarded its own policy.
My questions are:
Of how much importance are these facts?
and
How can I best exploit these failings?
Would it be fair to say that if they had followed their own policy "we might not be here to day in front of this tribunal". Did deliberate failure to follow a policy lead to deliberate discrimination?
Thanks in advance
Chris
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: UK Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 9 months ago.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. How does this affect the race element of your discrimination claim?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Hi
Tribunals are required to consider any aspect of an organisation's conduct that might lead to unlawful discrimination. Failure to implement its equal opportunities policy is a red flag that says we do not consider equal opportunities important. Adherence to the equal opportunities policy is the one thing that any employer can do to ensure that discriminatory conduct does not take place.There would be no point having it otherwise.Are you an employment specialist.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 9 months ago.

Yes, I am an employment specialist, been one for nearly 10 years. However, what you have said is incorrect - just because an organisation does not necessarily follow all aspects of equal ops does not mean that they have failed on the grounds you re claiming on. You are not making a claim for failure to follow equal ops in general - you are making a claim that you have been discriminated on grounds of race. let's say that the company has failed to follow equal ops in relation to disability - that does not mean that they have discriminated against you on grounds of race, so your interpretation is misguided I'm afraid. Therefore, I return to my initial question - How does this affect the race element of your discrimination claim?-

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I have never read an eq' opps' statement with specific targets in respect of any protected characteristic.Statements from the school from its equal opportunities policy"We will put in place a range of actions to eliminate prejudice, unlawful discrimination and victimisation within the school community we serve and our workforce." (presumably this includes race)"The Governing Body intends to achieve all its targets in respect of the equalities agenda and become recognised as a leader on equalities" (the school acknowledges that it does not set targets)"We will put in place a range of actions aimed at tackling prejudice and celebrating diversity within our workforce." (no evidence of this)"The Governing Body intends to achieve all its targets in respect of the equalities agenda and become recognised as a leader on equalities"The school has failed in all of its commitments on equal opportunities. It awarded senior leadership training courses to four white individuals using a mechanism that excluded consideration of better or at least equally suited BAME individuals. It asked senior leaders to use performance management to recommend individuals for the course. These senior leaders did not performance manage any BAME members of staff.The school went on to appoint the four individuals, chosen for the course, to senior leadership positions.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 9 months ago.

ok that is all fine, BUT can you show that race was actually a factor here. It could be a pure chance that it happened that the four appointed people were white - that does not mean the employer's decision was based on race. What evidence do you actually have that race was a factor in their decision, apart from just saying they were white and I am not?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
The SLT who put them on the course were the same people who drew up the job advertisements for the four posts. The specific job titles matched the projects that each of the four individuals had to do as part of their course. The same SLT then sat on the interview panels for all of the job interviews.The SLT said that they had placed these individuals on the course as part of their succession planning.It is a London school. It has never in its 50 year history had a BAME member of middle or senior leadership. Successive MLT and SLT have always been white. In planning for their succession the school chose four white individuals to move forward. No one was given an opportunity to compete for one of the senior leadership courses. I could go on. None of this can be denied because of documented evidence.Let's not forget also that the SLT on the interview panel and the Chair of Governors denied, in writing, knowing which interviewee was on the course; something they later had to retract, in writing via an amended ET3. Some coincidence.The school also has a history of racist incidents aim at members of the BAME staff, from other members of staff. It also has a wilful disregard for the commitments in it's equal opportunities policy...