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British boss who 'racially abused' Muslim female employee ordered to pay her thousands in compensation

Research shows workplace discrimination stops young British Muslims from reaching their full potential [Getty]

Date of publication: 8 October, 2019

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A UK tribunal has awarded thousands in compensation to a Muslim woman called a ‘P*ki’ and ‘curry muncher’ by her director who fired her without paying her entitled benefits.
A British Muslim woman of Pakistani origin has been granted a payout totalling over £22,500 after enduring 3 and a half years of racist and Islamophobic abuse from her company's director.

Miss Noreen, of Pakistani origin, worked as a recruitment consultant for Peterborough-based agency RecruitmentFinder Ltd. from 2013 until she was made redundant in 2017, according to court documents from Bury St Edmunds employment tribunal.

Miss Noreen, 27, was at the brunt of regular derogatory and abusive comments over both her race and religion from her boss, identified in the documents as Mr P Clarke.

Mr Clarke complained to Miss Noreen about "You P*kis", and called her fasting during the holy month of Ramadan a "lot of bollocks to me".

Read more: World Hijab Day promotes visibility, not meaningful progress

Even the food she brought from home was remarked upon by Mr Clarke, who referred to everything, including a pasta dish, as "curry".

Mr Clarke said she looked like a "curry muncher" and also made derogatory comments about her weight, according to the tribunal documents.

Miss Noreen reported the comments became worse for the last 18 months of her employment,  after she pointed out to Mr Clarke she had placed more staff in recruitment than he had.

At this point he stopped paying her the bonuses and fuel allowance she was entitled to.

Mr Clarke also made comments about Miss Noreen's job security which made her fear for her job to the point where she stopped taking the holiday leave she was entitled to, taking only Christmas Day, New Year's Day and Easter Monday.

Mr Clarke's threats made Miss Noreen too fearful to act on or report his abusive behaviour.

After she was made redundant, Mr Clarke did not pay her any of her entitled holiday pay or redundancy pay, which along with the missed fuel and bonus payment totalled around £15,000.

Miss Noreen was also awarded £7,500 compensation for discrimination she suffered in the workplace.

Women who wear headscarves face particular discrimination in the workplace, while young Muslims feel forced to work "10 times as hard" as their white counterparts to get on in their jobs, according to a report by The Guardian.

Discrimination and lack of cultural awareness in the workplace means young British Muslims are unable to reach their full potential at work, according to a 2017 report by the Social Mobility Commission.

Only 6 percent of Muslims are in higher managerial, administrative and professional occupations, according to the UK's 2011 census.

Iman Atta, the director of Islamophobia monitor Tell MAMA, told The New Arab her organisation has seen a 111.76% rise in reported discrimination cases in just two years.

"We understand that workplace discrimination has emotional, psychological and long term impacts on people and therefore is important to report any incident no matter how minor you think it is," she said.

"A work environment that is not welcoming or hostile to the identities of people is a work environment that needs to be challenged, if required, through legal redress. Given the diversity of our communities, businesses can get the best out of pluralism and see it as a strength. This also means treating people with dignity and integrity,” she added.

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