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.
Love this story here: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1360954/My-Chinese-bosses-sacked-British-says-lawyer.html
Headlined “My Chinese bosses sacked me for being British, says lawyer who is suing firm for racism”, the story is about a lawyer who worked for a firm of solicitors owned by two Chinese people.
They say that most of their clients only speak Chinese and therefore, according to the Daily Mail, made him redundant because he could only speak English.
He suggests that the real reason is because he is white and British.
Of course, as lawyers to the Chinese community, I believe they would be able to claim a genuine occupational requirement of speaking Chinese. It would be interesting to see to what extent they tried to retrain him before redundancy!
Anyway, I read the article and sided with the law firm. It sounded to me like sour grapes and racist diatribe from The Mail.
And then I look at Maxwell Elves website – which states lawyers for Chinese, Brazillian and English matters. So, assuming it was a redundancy, it would be on the basis that there was no requirement for English speaking lawyers, right? Why then have on your website that you deal with English matters. Caught out?!