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Manager awarded £230,000 after harassment complaints not addressed

Makbool Javaid, Partner - Simons Muirhead & Burton

A former manager at Royal Mail has been awarded £230,000 after his complaints about bullying and discrimination were not adequately addressed, contributing to a decline in his mental health and his subsequent dismissal. Personnel Today report that Mr Shunmugaraja, was called a “sly dog”, which left the him so upset he had to leave a meeting. He told the ET that he found the phrase deeply offensive, and the tribunal agreed it would be perceived as an insult in many cultures and could have racial connotations. Another incident involved an altercation with a colleague, ‘D’ outside the mail centre’s “quiet room”, which was often used as a place to pray. S had booked the room to conduct a short training session, but D – a Christian – aggressively challenged his use of the room and suggested he should “use the [Muslim] prayer room” instead. The ET considered this to be discrimination based on his perceived religion. S’s complaints of bullying and harassment were rejected, and he became unwell. His GP attributed this to anxiety caused by harassment and bullying at work and signed him off on sick leave. His line manager threatened to stop S’s sick pay if he did not return to work, which the ET found was an act of victimisation. S was dismissed, which had a profound affect on his life, and he became homeless.

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