The Metropolitan Police deleted records on sex and race discrimination against one of its employees, according to a BBC news report.

Discrimination in  the Met

An employment tribunal heard that a 35-year old police officer was singled out for unfair treatment. She was part of the armed group that protects VIPs.

Discrimination in the Met 1Managers asked a police officer investigating the Met’s discrimination record to delete references to race and sex discrimination from a report into the officer for the Diplomatic Protection Group. This is not a breach of UK employment law but if an employer does this it tends to suggest that it takes a lax approach to diversity.

WPC Howard brought a discrimination claim alleging that her employer directly discriminated against her and victimised her on the grounds of sex and race between in 2012. Her employer dismissed the complaint without a proper investigation and the tribunal decided that this was an act of spite done because she had brought a complaint of race and sex discrimination in the tribunal.

The treatment against her also amount to discrimination and harassment. London mayor Boris Johnson said he was dismayed by the findings of the tribunal.

What led to victory for this employee was that within weeks of becoming her line manager the inspector formed the view that she was below par but he couldn’t show any real basis for believing this.

It became clear during the employment tribunal case that deleting records relating to discrimination was routine policy within the Met.

Although deleting information is not a breach of UK employment law any business that does this is leaving itself wide open to losing any employment tribunal claim it faces, since the rule is that there is no smoke without fire, i.e. if a claimant can prove that discrimination seems to have taken place, the employer has to disprove it in order to win the case.

Information that you have on file can include details of grievances and disciplinaries, diversity information gathered from questionnaires, records of managerial training, emails to and from HR raising concerns and so on. In an employment tribunal claim, both parties are ordered to send copies of all documents containing information relevant to the claim (for example a discrimination claim) and this is the sort of information that is relevant. The lawyers will use that in an employment tribunal hearing to try to show, for example, that the workplace doesn’t take discrimination seriously or that the claimant willingly participated in harassment.