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Firearms Officer Wins Multiple Claims of Race Discrimination Against Cleveland Police

06 January 2016

Slater and Gordon employment solicitor Clare Parkinson helped a firearms officer to prove his claims of race discrimination against the Cleveland Police in the Employment Tribunal.

Slater and Gordon Lawyer: Clare Parkinson is a specialist employment solicitor with Slater and Gordon Lawyers in Manchester.

What Happened: Mr Nadeem Saddique is a firearms officer of Pakistani heritage and works for Cleveland Police. In his career, he has been a close protection or VIP officer for a Prime Minister, a Home Secretary and a protection driver for members of the royal family.

Mr Saddique experienced some racism within the police in the early stages of his career and he tolerated this without raising a formal complaint. However, when his status as a VIP officer was removed in 2011 for questionable reasons, he raised a formal complaint and, subsequently, an employment tribunal claim.

Wanting to progress his career, Mr Saddique settled this claim for no money, but with an agreement from Cleveland Police that they would provide him with equal access to training opportunities to regain his status as a VIP officer and take steps to stop discrimination happening again.

Sadly this agreement did not resolve matters for Mr Saddique and his 2011 complaints led to a catalogue of unfair treatment.

Hopeful of positive change, Mr Saddique became involved in an “Equality Review” run by Cleveland Police. The review was intended to analyse perceptions and evidence of discrimination in Cleveland Police and drive positive change within the organisation.

Mr Saddique resigned from the equality review in frustration and was subjected to further victimisation as a result. Mr Saddique’s status as an authorised firearms officer was then removed. This discriminatory treatment led Mr Saddique to submit another employment tribunal claim for race discrimination.

How Slater and Gordon Helped: Slater and Gordon argued that Mr Saddique had been victimised because of complaints of race discrimination that he made. We also argued that Mr Saddique had been treated less favourably than white police officers because of his race.

The case was difficult. There was no overt evidence that Mr Saddique’s colleagues had discriminated against him because of his race.

Discrimination law states that an employment tribunal is entitled to draw inferences from the surrounding facts to conclude that discrimination has occurred. Once this initial burden is proven, discrimination will be found unless the employer can show that any unfair treatment was wholly unconnected with race.

Clare helped Mr Saddique draw out a complex set of facts relating to over 20 allegations of discrimination and argued that the Tribunal should draw inferences from those facts to conclude that discrimination had occurred.

Decision: The Employment Tribunal upheld 16 separate allegations of discrimination. They concluded that Mr Saddique had been victimised because of his previous complaints and discriminated against because of his race.

The tribunal found that some of Mr Saddique’s managers had made stereotypical assumptions about him because of his race and those assumptions had led them to treat Mr Saddique less favourably than his white counterparts.

Slater and Gordon continue to advise Mr Saddique to help him reach a remedy, now he has won his case. Mr Saddique’s case is being funded by the Police Federation of England and Wales.

Related Practice Areas:

If you have suffered racial discrimination at work or would like to speak with an employment solicitor, call us on freephone 0800 916 9060 or contact us online.