Carol Howard awarded £37,000 in Employment Tribunal race discrimination claim

MoJCarol Howard, the police officer that was successful earlier this year with her claims for race and sex discrimination against the Metropolitan Police, has been awarded £37,000 by the Employment Tribunal, with the tribunal panel branding the Metropolitan Police “malicious” and “vindictive”.

PC Howard made her claim for race discrimination against the Metropolitan Police after she believed that she had been harassed, bullied and discriminated against by her immediate superior, Sergeant Dave Kelly, and that she had been discriminated against by the Metropolitan Police in the way that it had dealt with internal disciplinary and grievance procedures. She was successful in her claim for race discrimination earlier this year and a remedies hearing was held earlier this month to determine how much PC Howard should be awarded for her claims for race  and sex discrimination.

The Employment Tribunal released its judgment on remedy in the case earlier this month, awarding PC Howard the following sums:

  • £25,000 for injury to feelings for the race and sex discrimination
  • £10,000 in aggravated damages
  • £1,767.50 as an ACAS uplift
  • Financial loss of £350
  • Interest of £282.97

The Central London Employment Tribunal found that PC Howard had been “singled out and targeted” by Sgt Kelly and criticised the police for for its “insulting, malicious and oppressive” conduct, as well as for the fact that it had failed to disclose crucial evidence. In particular, the tribunal found that the failure of its internal grievance policy to consider that PC Howard had been discriminated against was “appalling and wholly unacceptable”, particularly given that the Metropolitan Police is a large public sector employer.

PC Howard commented after the Employment Tribunal judgment was released: “I did not willingly seek this employment tribunal but had no other option [but] to pursue it after various attempts to resolve the situation internally with the police proved fruitless. In that regard, I am pleased that the tribunal has recommended that the Metropolitan Police’s internal complaints system is fully and independently reviewed.”

A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police commented: “This case is in the process of being fully reviewed. It is essential that all staff and the public have full confidence in our Fairness at Work policy and we are commissioning an independent review of the policy. PC Howard’s experiences, as well as other cases, will help inform that review.”

It is not currently believed that the Metropolitan Police is seeking a review of the award, nor is it believed to be seeking to appeal the judgment.

Chris Hadrill, an employment solicitor at Redmans Solicitors, commented on the case: “This case is a strong reminder that successful claimants for discrimination in the Employment Tribunal can be awarded large sums of money in compensation for the hurt and distress that they have suffered as a result of the discrimination. Employers should ensure that they have anti-bullying and equality policies implemented at work and that they deal with any complaints of bullying, harassment or discrimination promptly and fairly.”

The remedy judgment in Howard v The Commissioner of the Police of the Metropolis can be found here.