Following our article in July ‘The Metropolitan Police delete evidence of sex and race discrimination?!’, this month, the Central London Employment Tribunal have awarded a total sum of £37,000 for damages, including aggravated damages, for the sex and race discrimination against a female policy officer.

PC Howard, a 35 year old black female firearms officer, issued a claim at the tribunal against the Met Police after she was “singled out and targeted” for almost a year, between January and October 2012, because she stood out in the “almost exclusively” male and white Diplomatic Protection Group in which she served.

In July, the Central London Employment Tribunal found that the Metropolitan Police had not only discriminated against an officer due to her sex and race but had also failed to follow their own Fairness at Work Procedure properly. During the hearing this month, the judge found that the Met had also released information about PC Howard’s arrest after a domestic dispute with her husband to the media to “deflect attention and criticism” and to portray her in a negative light. This included the Met making allegations against PC Howard of assault, harassment, making threats to damage property, perverting the course of justice, witness intimidation and possession of an indecent image of a child; confirmation was given after the release of the judgment that no further action will be taken.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission have now commenced investigations into the Met’s internal procedures.

In a judgment published at the start of this month on 2nd September, explaining the level of damages it was ordering the police to pay, the tribunal savaged the Met for its reaction to the negative coverage it received.

This case has shown the severity of employers permitting sex and race discrimination (and no doubt all other forms of discrimination) in the work place and raises the importance of handling cases brought to employers’ attention in the most proper and sensitive way.

Employers should review their grievance procedures and re-examine whether they are handling grievances fairly and appropriately.
For further information, please contact Koichiro Nakada – Head of Japan Business Group (koichiro.nakada@lewissilkin.com) and Yoko Nakada - Senior Associate, Deputy Head of Japan Business Group (yoko.nakada@lewissilkin.com).
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