Search
Close this search box.

HR people lead loses race discrimination claim after being told at interview that the company wanted to ‘hire fewer white men’

In Mr C P v AIMS Markets Limited the respondent is the digital capital markets division of the AIMS group, a provider of financial services. It started to grow more rapidly in 2020 and by mid-2021 it was decided to recruit a full-time person to deal with HR matters at every level. At that point, there were only 12 employees and no internal HR post.

In Mr C P v AIMS Markets Limited the respondent is the digital capital markets division of the AIMS group, a provider of financial services. It started to grow more rapidly in 2020 and by mid-2021 it was decided to recruit a full-time person to deal with HR matters at every level. At that point, there were only 12 employees and no internal HR post.

Mike Jones (Managing Director) and Victoria Hopper, an external HR Consultant, were asked to carry out the administration side of the process. Mr Jones and Miss Hopper discussed the nature of the role and whether it needed a strategic senior level candidate or whether it was a more hands-on operational role. It was decided that the respondent needed someone who could take on the full range of HR responsibilities.

On this basis, the Mr Jones and Miss Hopper finalised the job description, modifying the company’s first draft. The budgeted salary was around £80,000.

The respondent received many applications, and the claimant was amongst the few selected for a pre-screening interview. It was clear from his application that he was a man.

Mr Jones had contacted the claimant on 13 July and asked if he could carry out the pre-screening interview on the spot. The claimant was on holiday with some friends, and they had just checked out of their hostel. However, he agreed to carry out the interview, which he conducted from the hostel lobby. His friends listened in (unseen) to most or all of the interview.

Mr Jones told the claimant that the respondent had an objective of building and creating diversity. He mentioned the ethnicity and sex of various existing employees. According to the claimant and his friends, Mr Jones referred to the company’s wish to hire ‘fewer white men’. Mr Jones cannot remember exactly what he said, but denies he put it like that and says his words have been misconstrued.

Mr Jones and Miss Hopper generally thought the claimant was a serious candidate who should progress to the first interview, although they had a couple of reservations. After discussing the interview together, the three interviewers had doubts. They felt the claimant talked a lot, and they wondered if he would be a good listener.

On 20 August 2021, Mr Jones emailed the claimant to say that they did not wish to proceed any further with him.

On 19 November 2021, the claimant wrote to Mr Jones alleging sex discrimination. He set out his account of events, including his allegation that ‘you stated that it was yours and the company’s intention to hire “fewer white men”’.

The Tribunal noted that it was ‘struck by the fact that Mr Jones made his comments to the claimant’s face. If it was Mr Jones’ intention not to recruit the claimant as a white man, or even just to prefer any other candidates who were not white men – or if he was aware that was the company’s intention – why would he have told the claimant words to the effect that the company hoped to employ fewer white men? We find it incredible that Mr Jones would have openly said what he did, if he had in mind that the claimant might not be recruited because he was a white man’.

The Tribunal further noted that ‘Mr Jones put the claimant through to the full interview stage’.

Read more

Latest News

Read More

How to stop loneliness at work in its tracks

13 June 2024

Newsletter

Receive the latest HR news and strategic content

Please note, as per the GDPR Legislation, we need to ensure you are ‘Opted In’ to receive updates from ‘theHRDIRECTOR’. We will NEVER sell, rent, share or give away your data to third parties. We only use it to send information about our products and updates within the HR space To see our Privacy Policy – click here

Latest HR Jobs

The University of Edinburgh – CMVM/Institute of Genetics and CancerSalary: £32,982 to £38,205 per annum (Grade 6) This provides summary information and comment on the

Collaborate closely with service directors, heads of service, and senior managers to drive transformation initiatives. Job Types: Full-time, Permanent. £54,446 – £57,401 a yearFrom Indeed

The HR function follows the typical operating model of strategy, expert services, people development, business partnering, recruitment and operations. £75,000 a yearFrom Civil Service –

Reporting to the Chief People Officer, you will oversee the full employee lifecycle, ensuring the delivery of HR activities that attract, retain, and develop…From PA

Read the latest digital issue of theHRDIRECTOR for FREE

Read the latest digital issue of theHRDIRECTOR for FREE