Statistics May Not Prove Discrimination, But They Can Be Persuasive

Statistical evidence, however striking, is rarely enough to prove discrimination in the workplace.  However, the fact that there was not a single non-white manager of a retail chain’s 81 stores in a particular region certainly had a persuasive impact on an Employment Tribunal (ET).

Outline of the Case

The case concerned a mixed-race man who had served as one of the chain’s store managers in London. He accepted a provisional demotion to deputy management and a substantial reduction in his pay when he moved to the region. He expected to swiftly progress to a store manager’s role, but that did not come to pass. After being diagnosed with severe depression, he had not returned to work.

After he launched proceedings, the ET noted that the fact that all the chain’s store managers in the region were white was not, by itself, proof of discrimination. In upholding his race discrimination claim, however, it found that, because of his race, he had either consciously or subconsciously been treated less favourably than white applicants for managerial positions.

What happened next?

His aspirations had been ignored and he had not been afforded the same career progression opportunities as his white counterparts. The failure to engage him in administrative duties was also discriminatory. His complaints of harassment and age discrimination were rejected, as were other aspects of his race discrimination claim. The amount of compensation due to him will be assessed at a further hearing if settlement terms are not agreed.

Our Trainee Legal Executive, Lucy Watson, comments that “The Employment Tribunal have determined that statistical evidence is rarely enough to prove discrimination in the workplace.” Lucy then mentions that “In this particular case the claimant, mixed-race, had aspirations to become a manager, but was not afforded the same career progression opportunities as his white counterparts. The Respondent did not have one non-white manager within a chain of 81 stores.”

Contact Tayntons Solicitors in Gloucester on 0800 158 4147 if you have an employment enquiry. Book an initial 45 minute consultation meeting with our employment team for £75.00 plus VAT (£90.00).

Brando-Calderon v Co-operative Group Limited. Case Number: 1600715/2017


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