Tag Archive: discrimination

IPCC investigating 15 officers and staff for roles in racial discrimination case

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The IPCC can now confirm that 15 current and former officers and civilian staff from Bedfordshire Police are under investigation for gross misconduct for their roles in a case of internal racial discrimination. 

The eleven officers and four staff are being investigated for their handling of the case of Harmit Bahra. Ten are now retired or no longer serving with a police force, two are working for other police forces and three remain at Bedfordshire police force. Of the eleven police officers, all but one hold a rank higher than inspector. 

In July 2014, an employment tribunal found that Police Sergeant Harmit Bahra had been discriminated against by Bedfordshire Police, on the grounds of race and awarded him a significant sum for loss of earnings due to loss of promotion, pension loss and injury to feelings. 

Prior to the tribunal, Mr Bahra made a number of complaints about the discrimination he alleged he was receiving from Bedfordshire Police. The tribunal made specific comments in relation to how Mr Bahra was unfavourably treated and how the force handled Mr Bahra’s complaints and made specific comments in relation to the conduct of named individuals. 

In October 2014 that matter was referred to the IPCC by Bedfordshire Police and an independent IPCC investigation was declared in May 2015. Ten officers were notified that their conduct was under investigation prior to December 2015. 

In February 2016 the investigation was widened. The IPCC has now notified a further five individuals that they are under investigation for suspected gross misconduct. 

The investigation remains ongoing and has analysed substantial amounts of paperwork, emails, human-resources records and has interviewed a significant number of witnesses. The officers and staff under investigation are to now be interviewed. 

IPCC Associate Commissioner Guido Liguori said: 

“This has been a complex and resource-intensive investigation that has now reached a critical and significant stage. This case raises serious allegations against a large number of officers and staff throughout Bedfordshire Police. 

“We have now notified fifteen individuals that their conduct is under investigation and will be working hard to bring this investigation to a close and provide our report to the appropriate police forces to determine next steps.” 

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Handle your pregnancy discrimination cases at Ison Harrison

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Head of Employment Law at Ison Harrison, Yunus Lunat

Head of Employment Law at Ison Harrison, Yunus Lunat

Ison Harrison achieved notable outcomes in two recent pregnancy discrimination cases against a national employer. The cases in question concerned a redundancy situation which the employer claimed had arisen in the workplace. The individuals selected for redundancy were one lady that had just returned from maternity leave and another lady who was due to go on maternity leave.

Both the individuals in question were represented at the 3 day hearing by our head of employment Yunus Lunat, who successfully convinced the tribunal that the dismissal of both individuals was not only automatically unfair, but also that they were tainted by discrimination on the grounds of pregnancy.

Employers regularly fail to appreciate that when considering redundancies within a group that includes a woman on maternity leave, the woman on maternity leave has a right to a suitable alternative vacancy if selected for redundancy in addition to the protection from discrimination the Equality Act. As well as these two main provisions, a dismissal is also rendered as automatically unfair if the reason for it relates to pregnancy, maternity, or childbirth.

Once a woman has been selected for redundancy, the pregnant employee affected must be offered a suitable alternative vacancy if one exists. The obligation goes beyond an entitlement to be shortlisted or interviewed. We find that employers consistently fail to recognise this one area of law which endorses positive discrimination.

The Equality Act also offers protection to a pregnant worker against unfavourable treatment because of pregnancy, or because of illness that is suffered as a result of it. This is in addition to the general prohibition of discrimination and indirect discrimination.

In the cases described above the conduct of the employer was such that Ison Harrison also recovered a significant five figure cost contribution from the employers, making it an extremely expensive redundancy exercise for the employer.

On a wider note these cases simply confirms the findings of recent reports published in the media. For example, a report in 2005 by the Equal Opportunities Commission found that almost half of women who were pregnant in the UK were likely to experience some form of disadvantage, including around 30,000 who would be forced to leave their jobs. The conclusion of the report was that around the 1,500 or so pregnancy related employment tribunal claims were simply the tip of the iceberg.

Fast forward 10 years, and a more recent report by the Equality and Human Rights Commission in partnership with the Department for Business Innovation and Skills concluded that 77% of pregnant women reported negative pregnancy related experiences, with around 11 per cent stating that they had been forced to leave their jobs. This equates to more than 50,000 mothers each year being forced out of their employment, and almost 400,000 being subjected to discriminatory treatment.

The report also revealed a stark and outdated attitude towards women in the workplace. Including a finding amongst employers that a woman should be forced to declare whether she is pregnant at the recruitment stage, with 25% expressing the view that it was reasonable to question women of child bearing age at interview about their plans to have children.

51% of mothers also felt that whilst they had had their flexible working applications approved, it had resulted in negative consequences, including fewer opportunities.

The cases reported here demonstrated all of the outdated and stereotypical attitudes, which proved to be an extremely costly and sobering experience for the employers concerned.

Our head of Employment Law, Yunus Lunat has over 10 years’ experience dealing with complex employment-related cases.


Our specialist lawyers can be contacted on 0113 284 5062 or by email to react@isonharrison.co.uk.


The firm can offer appointments at any of its branches in Leeds, Garforth, Cross Gates, Chapel Town, Chapel Allerton, Ilkley, Guiseley, Morley, Castleford or Pontefract.

 

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Handle your pregnancy discrimination cases at Ison Harrison

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Head of Employment Law at Ison Harrison, Yunus Lunat

Head of Employment Law at Ison Harrison, Yunus Lunat

Ison Harrison achieved notable outcomes in two recent pregnancy discrimination cases against a national employer. The cases in question concerned a redundancy situation which the employer claimed had arisen in the workplace. The individuals selected for redundancy were one lady that had just returned from maternity leave and another lady who was due to go on maternity leave.

Both the individuals in question were represented at the 3 day hearing by our head of employment Yunus Lunat, who successfully convinced the tribunal that the dismissal of both individuals was not only automatically unfair, but also that they were tainted by discrimination on the grounds of pregnancy.

Employers regularly fail to appreciate that when considering redundancies within a group that includes a woman on maternity leave, the woman on maternity leave has a right to a suitable alternative vacancy if selected for redundancy in addition to the protection from discrimination the Equality Act. As well as these two main provisions, a dismissal is also rendered as automatically unfair if the reason for it relates to pregnancy, maternity, or childbirth.

Once a woman has been selected for redundancy, the pregnant employee affected must be offered a suitable alternative vacancy if one exists. The obligation goes beyond an entitlement to be shortlisted or interviewed. We find that employers consistently fail to recognise this one area of law which endorses positive discrimination.

The Equality Act also offers protection to a pregnant worker against unfavourable treatment because of pregnancy, or because of illness that is suffered as a result of it. This is in addition to the general prohibition of discrimination and indirect discrimination.

In the cases described above the conduct of the employer was such that Ison Harrison also recovered a significant five figure cost contribution from the employers, making it an extremely expensive redundancy exercise for the employer.

On a wider note these cases simply confirms the findings of recent reports published in the media. For example, a report in 2005 by the Equal Opportunities Commission found that almost half of women who were pregnant in the UK were likely to experience some form of disadvantage, including around 30,000 who would be forced to leave their jobs. The conclusion of the report was that around the 1,500 or so pregnancy related employment tribunal claims were simply the tip of the iceberg.

Fast forward 10 years, and a more recent report by the Equality and Human Rights Commission in partnership with the Department for Business Innovation and Skills concluded that 77% of pregnant women reported negative pregnancy related experiences, with around 11 per cent stating that they had been forced to leave their jobs. This equates to more than 50,000 mothers each year being forced out of their employment, and almost 400,000 being subjected to discriminatory treatment.

The report also revealed a stark and outdated attitude towards women in the workplace. Including a finding amongst employers that a woman should be forced to declare whether she is pregnant at the recruitment stage, with 25% expressing the view that it was reasonable to question women of child bearing age at interview about their plans to have children.

51% of mothers also felt that whilst they had had their flexible working applications approved, it had resulted in negative consequences, including fewer opportunities.

The cases reported here demonstrated all of the outdated and stereotypical attitudes, which proved to be an extremely costly and sobering experience for the employers concerned.

Our head of Employment Law, Yunus Lunat has over 10 years’ experience dealing with complex employment-related cases.

Our specialist lawyers can be contacted on 0113 284 5062 or by email to react@isonharrison.co.uk. The firm can offer appointments at any of its branches in Leeds, Garforth, Cross Gates, Chapel Town, Chapel Allerton, Ilkley, Guiseley, Morley, Castleford or Pontefract.

 

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“SERIOUS FAILINGS”: Handling of police race discrimination complaints

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An Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) review has found significant failings in the way West Yorkshire along with two other large metropolitan police forces handle complaints of discrimination.

The findings embarrassingly show that generally complaints of discrimination made by members of the public, are poorly handled right from the beginning through to the end.

The IPCC examined 202 completed cases to determine how West Yorkshire, West Midlands and Greater Manchester police forces deal with allegations in relation to any kind of discrimination including race, disability and age. Three-quarters were race allegations.

Of 170 complaints from the public alleging discrimination only 94 were investigated and of those no discrimination allegations were upheld – yet overall the three forces uphold between 11 and 13% of complaint allegations from the public.

By contrast, over half of the 32 investigations into discrimination allegations raised by the police themselves were upheld.

The report found that there was insufficient training in diversity, and that this both results in complaints and means that they are not well handled.

Traditionally, complaints are dealt with by local officers, not specialist professional standards departments, and the quality of complaint handling at local level is clearly worse.

IPCC Chair Dame Anne Owers

The report accentuates that a significant amount of training and support is needed to provide information, influence training and standards, and monitor outcomes.

IPCC Chair Dame Anne Owers said: "Our findings are stark.

"It is vital that police forces deal effectively with allegations of discrimination.

“For particular sections of the community, likely to be more distrustful of the police, or more vulnerable - or both, they are litmus test of confidence in policing as a whole and of the police’s understanding of the communities they serve.

"While we welcome the fact that officers are prepared to report and challenge their colleagues when it comes to discriminatory behaviour, allegations made by members of the public need to be handled equally seriously and dealt with effectively.”

The report makes a series of recommendations for improving the quality of investigations into discrimination allegations, on training for both frontline and complaint-handling police personnel, and on ensuring meaningful contact with complainants.

As well as reviewing case files, the IPCC will use the study to inform a review of its own guidance to all police forces in England and Wales on dealing with allegations of discriminatory behaviour later this year.

 

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