Carl Borg-Neal awarded £486,000 for unfair dismissal

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Posted on 11 Jan 2024

Carl Borg-Neal awarded £486,000 for unfair dismissal

Following the Employment Tribunal’s (“the ET”) ruling in August 2023, Doyle Clayton client, Carl Borg-Neal, has been awarded £486,000 (net before interest and tax – likely to be over £800,000 total award) for being unfairly dismissed by Lloyds Banking Group PLC (“the Bank”) for using the N-word during an anti-racism training session.

In addition to awarding the financial sum, the ET made the following recommendations:

  1. The Bank circulate the ET’s liability judgment to the respondent’s UK board, and that they be asked to read and digest it;
  2. The Bank place a note in the records it holds about Mr Borg-Neal that a tribunal found his dismissal to be unfair and an act of disability discrimination;
  3. The Bank inform the Financial Conduct Authority, in writing, that the ET has found that Mr Borg-Neal’s dismissal was procedurally and substantively unfair and an act of disability discrimination; and
  4. The Bank provide to Mr Borg-Neal the wording of a neutral reference which it will provide on request to any future employer.

The reason for the recommendations was “for the purpose of obviating or reducing the adverse effect of any matter to which the proceedings relate on the complainant [Mr Borg-Neal]”, as the ET recognised that the Bank was not open to allowing Mr Borg-Neal to return to his role, which was his preferred option, and that multiple factors, including his age, disability and the impact of the case on his mental health, would make it difficult for him to find another role at an equivalent level of seniority and pay. This further highlights the damaging impact of the actions of the Bank on Mr Borg-Neal, actions which the original judgment found that “no reasonable employer” would have taken, the consequences of which he will have to face for the rest of his life.

The ET was also critical of the Bank when it came to Mr Borg-Neal’s request to be reinstated, stating that some comments were “high-handed and rubbed salt into the wound by distorting the tribunal’s liability judgment, and using selective quotes to make the tribunal sound like it was saying something it did not say”, adding that the Bank omitted “the tribunal’s references to the claimant’s repeated apologies, that he never repeated the word, and that he had demonstrated by his behaviour that he [Mr Borg-Neal] had learned the lesson”. The ET also felt that the Bank deliberately misread what the tribunal chose to say in the original judgment and that its document had negative impact on Mr Borg-Neal and, as such, awarded £3,000 aggravated damages for this additional injury to feelings.

We are delighted that the Tribunal has recognised the significant negative impact that this case has needlessly had on our client, something which he will have to manage for the rest of his life and working career. Not only has Lloyds Bank failed to execute a disciplinary process in a fair manner, its response to the judgment has gained criticism from the Tribunal, which further added to the distress of Mr Borg-Neal. We strongly believe that employers should act in a fair and responsible manner, and we hope that the Tribunal’s findings and recommendations clearly demonstrate the seriousness of executing policies and procedures in a fair and compliant manner.”

The ET’s reports can be found here.

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