A4e guilty of racial discrimination, says employment tribunal

Mon, 23/09/2013 - 13:50 -- nick

Controversial company A4e has been found guilty of racial discrimination by an employment tribunal.

A4e dismissed Rohim Ullah from its Bradford office in 2011 for failing to follow proper procedures, while two white managers accused of the same thing were kept on.

One of those managers also said of an Iraqi client that he should "f*** off back to his own country", but he was not subject to the same standard of investigation.

Ullah, from Yorkshire, said he was "very pleased" at winning the two-year battle, and felt he was targeted because of his ethnicity:"I believe the reason why they discriminated against me was they had to find a scapegoat [for failures in the office] ... and they thought, we'll get this black person here."

The tribunal judges expressed surprise that A4e proceeded with allegations against Ullah when those made against the two white managers were "swept under the carpet or treated as minor misconduct".

"The other managers were not even questioned regarding these allegations, but every comment that was made against me, they took it [their investigations] to the extreme limit," Ullah said.

A4e said it would appeal the decision, but the company has had a problematic time over the last two years.

Despite being one of the biggest providers of the government's much-criticised Work Programme, A4e was in the bottom half for performance even as the whole programme missed targets.

Founder Emma Harrison resigned last year after reports of widespread corruption at the firm, with unemployed people forced to sign documents claiming they had found work so that A4e could claim thousands of pounds from them.

This lead to arrests at the firm, but it was allowed to keep its Work Programme contracts.

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