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£291,000 award for whistleblower referred to as a Gypo and a tinker

Makbool Javaid

In Bell v Cordant People Limited, Bell (B) is Irish and from a traveller background. B disclosed information to his line manager, Barnes, that a company purchased by Cordant had falsified invoices thereby declaring a falsely elevated profit. These concerns were not raised within the business or investigated, and Barnes reacted angrily when B raised the matter again. B was dismissed for underperformance in his part of the business, but the ET inferred from all the evidence that Barnes dismissed B unfairly for making protected disclosures and B was awarded £283,472 compensation. During B’s employment, Barnes: said that B dressed like a “Gypo”; stated that B looked like a tinker; asked B “where did you leave your horse and cart”; and, called B a “Pikey”. The ET found that Barnes’ conduct amounted to harassment related to race and awarded B £8,353 for injury to feelings.

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