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Jamie McCracken succeeds in establishing subconscious racial bias in recruitment process

News | Thu 12th Jul, 2018

The Employment Tribunal has today published its decision in the matter of Miss S Cole v Derbyshire County Council.

Jamie McCracken represented Miss Cole, who describes herself as ‘Black British’, at the final hearing of this case over several days having not been involved at earlier stages. The case was a complex series of allegations which asserted an unconscious racial bias in the recruitment process.

As can be seen from the judgment, Jamie recast the complex allegations at the commencement of the hearing in order to clarify the claims being made and the evidential basis upon which the claim was advanced. As is expected in such a case there were no allegations of overt racially motivated treatment at least at the outset and in the recruitment process, although there were some alleged later in the process which were not upheld.

In reality this was a case where the Claimant was suggesting that the reasons she had not been promoted were related to her race but she had no direct evidence of racially motivated treatment. Accordingly the case was advanced on the basis of inferences to be drawn from the facts as viewed following skilful cross examination of the Respondent’s witnesses.

Accordingly, the panel did not make a unanimous decision but the majority accepted that the inferences to be drawn were those advanced by Jamie on behalf of Miss Cole, namely that she was not promoted because of her racial background.

You can read the Employment Tribunal decision here.

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