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Halfords worker ‘racially harassed’ and compared to ‘monkeys crying for bananas’

Makbool Javaid, Partner - Simons Muirhead Burton

In Mr C Best v Halfords Limited a Halfords worker has won a pay out after being ‘racially harassed’ and said to be like ‘monkeys crying for bananas’.

Mr Best, a worker at a Halfords store in Brixton, south London, won £5,000 from an employment tribunal after the ruling.

A unanimous judgement found that his colleague, Mr Pillay, had targeted him with horrific racist abuse.

Not only did Mr Pillay tell other members of staff “I don’t care I am going to be racist” he also said Mr Best was “like monkeys crying for bananas”.

He was found to have contravened the Equality Act and also harassed Mr Best on two occasions between October 11 2020, and November 29, 2021.

The tribunal heard Mr Pillay said to two other managers: “I don’t care I am going to be racist right now, some employees are like monkeys crying for bananas,” or words to that effect, the tribunal heard.

Then, on November 29, 2021, he said to Mr Best: “change that look on your face” and “you don’t have to work for me”.

This was found to have constituted harassment related to Mr Best’s race.

The tribunal also found that previously on October 11, 2020, Mr Pillay accused Mr Best of giving him a dirty look and “stirring up tension” among the group.

Through this, Mr Pillay was found to have contravened section 39(2)(d) of the Equality Act 2010, as he had subjected Mr Best to detriment “because of his race”.

Mr Best was awarded £5,000 as compensation for “injury to feelings” following the ordeal.

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