A HOTEL chef subjected to racial harassment by workmates has been awarded £13,000 in compensation.
Staff at Aston Hall Hotel made jokes about Simon Mwangi’s skin colour — he was likened to Raymond the B******, a black character from the TV’s Max and Paddy’s Road to Nowhere, an employment tribunal heard.
Andy Hiles, who represented Mr Mwangi, told the panel in Sheffield the sous chef had been the butt of jokes about his skin colour and hands, references to the size of his penis and stereotyping jibes involving “black pudding” and “rolled beef”.
When the unhappy employee complained to his manager that he was being racially discriminated against, he was told “not to go there”, the tribunal found.
Aston Hall Hotel, which is part of the Best Western Group, was ordered to pay Mr Mwangi £10,200 in compensation for harassment and £3,421 for unfair dismissal.
The tribunal judgement found Mr Mwangi was constructively dismissed after being subjected to “harassment relating to his race” between December 2015 and May 2019 “in respect of the colour of his hands” and in one specific incident “by an analogy with an unpleasant fictional character”.
Mr Mwangi said he was happy with the outcome, adding: “I never thought the management took my allegations seriously.
“I thought if I settled out of court that would be it and the same thing could happen to other people.
“Being a family man, I would not want my kids to go through the same things I did.
“I wanted things to change and for people to be treated with respect.”
Mr Mwangi said he thought some of his former colleagues had considered their comments to be “banter” — but others did it “out of spite or to put me in my place”.
He added: “Either way, it was hurtful.”
Mr Mwangi said he was relieved the case was resolved and he could move on with his life.
Mr Hiles, of the General Workers’ Union, said: “The case goes to show the extent of which capsulised racism and inappropriate banter in the workplace, with many workers unaware of any boundaries relating to jokes can course serious upset and offence to those on the constant end of such jokes.
“The case also goes to show that management have a duty of care to their staff and to ensure a safe and friendly working environment for all people and need to be aware of protected characteristics, seen or unseen.”
Best Western and the hotel’s owners have been contacted for comment.