Race bias claim leads to £160,000 settlement

Stockport
Borough Council will pay £160,000 to a former employee in an out-of-court
settlement over a race discrimination case.

Justin
Idehen, the former head of engineering, was upset over alleged changes to his
job. He claimed the council had re-graded his job, changed his responsibilities
without consultation and refused to adjust his pay in line with fellow staff on
a similar grade.

An
internal investigation by the council, headed by the chief executive, upheld
the complaint but found no evidence of racial discrimination. Idehen took his
case to employment tribunal.

Stockport
Borough Council decided to settle out of court. A spokesman said,
"Although we were confident of success in the tribunal, relations between
the employee and management had broken down so fundamentally that there was no
alternative to a parting of the ways."

The
council denied the settlement was an award of damages. "Mr Idehen was not
forced out of his job, it was a mutually agreed settlement and a mutual parting
of ways."

The
CRE urged councils to check their policies are free of race bias.

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