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£52,000 compensation after suffering degrading racial and sexual orientation abuse

Makbool Javaid, Partner - Simons Muirhead & Burton
supreme court

In Hoch v Thor Atkinson Steel Fabrications Limited, H is white, South African by nationality, and heterosexual. An ET upheld his harassment related to race and sexual orientation claims. On the race claim, the ET found it surprising in nature given that H is white, but he is South African by nationality, yet the comments made were undoubtedly related to race. A colleague had addressed H using racially offensive terms such as “foreign c**t”, “nigger”, “wog” and “kaffir/kafer/caffa”. Another colleague had posted a photograph on Snapchat of H’s head superimposed onto the body of an emaciated black child and when H, on another occasion, indicated he did not like the way he was being spoken to, the colleague replied “Alright you f*****g South African f*****g kaffir prick”. With regard to the sexual orientation claim, colleagues perceived H to be homosexual and on a number of occasions referred to him as using the terms “gay”, “gay c**t”, “princess”, “pretty boy” and saying “Get back to your Wendy House”. The ET awarded H £52,000 compensation, including £27,000 for injury to feelings.

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