Redbridge Council redundancy of CCTV worker was ‘racial discrimination’, tribunal finds

A tribunal has found that Redbridge Council racially discriminated against a former employee with an employment agency in making him redundant.

An employment tribunal sitting at the East London Hearing Centre, Blackwall, in September, awarded Junior Campbell more than �14,000 in compensation after ruling against Redbridge Council and Remploy.

Mr Campbell, 31, of Homerton High Street, worked as a CCTV operator in the council’s traffic and crime divisions from March 2008.

He said: “I loved the job, I loved the fact I could save people’s lives and stop crime.

“I’ve had dyslexia all my life and I found it so hard to find a job.

“I haven’t been the same since I was made redundant.

“I’m trying to get back to my old self but it’s really knocked my confidence.”

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Mr Campbell, who lives with his partner and two young children, has not had another permanent job and said he has suffered from depression and stress.

He was employed through Remploy, who help disabled people into work.

But when funding for CCTV operators was reduced, Mr Campbell was made redundant on April 14 2009, while a white colleague with identical experience and qualifications was kept on without explanation.

The tribunal concluded: “The second respondent (Redbridge Council) treated the claimant (Mr Campbell), who was black, less favourably than an actual comparator, who was white, in the same or not materially different circumstances.

“There was no other white candidate who was not selected like the claimant.”

Remploy was also found to have unfairly dismissed Mr Campbell, through failing to follow correct procedures or question the council’s reasons for choosing to make him redundant.

Mr Campbell, who represented himself at the hearing, said: “The first day of the tribunal was the most nerve-wracking day of my life, I thought I would just give up.

“They just kept talking about money but I was there because of what happened to me.

“I wanted a letter of apology and a good reference letter. I’m trying so hard to get a job.”

Remploy has launched an appeal against the tribunal’s findings which will be heard next year.

A spokesman said: “Remploy was not involved in the selection process which led to Junior Campbell losing his job and the company believes that the tribunal has made an error in law

“The company has very strict procedures in place to prevent racial, or indeed any form of discrimination, in our employee relations.”

The tribunal found that Remploy unfairly dismissed Mr Campbell and was liable for Redbridge Council’s racial discrimination by “accepting”, “acting on” and “ratifying” the decision to make Mr Campbell redundant.

A Redbridge Council spokesman said employees had “failed to prove that the reason was not discrimination”.

She added: “There was no finding that any officer of the council made a conscious or wilful decision to discriminate.

“This single finding of discrimination was the only one of numerous allegations made by Mr Campbell, of harassment and discrimination by reason of race or disability, that the tribunal upheld.

“The council takes its equality duties extremely seriously and has policies in place to avoid any sort of discrimination.”