News & Views

£26k Bill for food charity

BY Steve Briggs
HR
BG Teal

A German cook who claimed he was ridiculed at work and compared to Allo Allo character Herr Flick has been awarded more than £26,000 in compensation by an employment tribunal.

Marc Schmitz was stunned by an email which he considered likened him to the fictional Gestapo officer in the sitcom, and maintained that other colleagues joined in by nicknaming him after the Nazi.

Matters came to a head in late 2008 when he was dismissed for alleged misconduct relating to inappropriate language and a relationship with a student. The tribunal found no evidence for these claims. He complained to an employment tribunal of race HR and unfair dismissal.

After hearing the tribunal’s decision, Schmitz said he had found his colleagues treatment very upsetting, not least because earlier generations of his family had opposed the Nazis and had assisted Jews in their quest for safety.

The charity argued that the reference to Allo Allo in the email came after some light-hearted banter at work.

But the tribunal judgment said there had been deliberate references to Schmitz's nationality, and that various of the comments that had been directed at him had violated his dignity, and, as such, amounted to unlawful HR.

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