Indian telesales employee discriminated against after being forced to change name to Rob

Mike Ghandi

In Jain v Teachers 2 Parents Ltd ET Case No. 1900007, an employment tribunal held that an Indian employee who had been instructed to anglicise his name for business usage, suffered race discrimination.

Teachers 2 Parents Ltd is a technology business, supplying software products to schools. Mr Jain, who is Indian-born, was employed by the company as a telesales operator since September 2009. On his first day at work, he was inducted with around nine other new starters and during the induction, a manager informed them that they needed to pick anglicised names before they could start work on the phones. Mr Jain was unhappy about having to change his name and explained that he had operated successfully in sales using his own name, Rahul Jain, which was easily spelt.

However, he was still required to anglicise his name and Mr Jain reluctantly agreed to be called Rob. Other Asian employees at the company also adopted aliases; for example, Mehul became Max; Faizal became Fred and Sarbjit became Sally. When he was dismissed for redundancy, Mr Jain initiated tribunal proceedings, claiming that the requirement to change his name amounted to direct and indirect race discrimination.