Northern Ireland

Tribunal compensation for Polish labourer called a fenian

A labourer originally from Poland who was called a "fenian" and told to "go back to your country" has been awarded £55,000 by a fair employment tribunal.

It found Daniel Brzezinski had suffered racial and religious discrimination and was unfairly dismissed.

Mr Brzezinski worked for Alan, Lee and Dale Edgar, trading as Edgar Contracts, from March 2011 until January 2013.

The tribunal found his nationality and religion were "key factors" in the firm's decision who to make redundant.

It also found he had been paid £114.48 a week less than the minimum wage.

While he took four weeks' holiday a year, the tribunal found he was only paid for two of them.

A claim by the firm that it had sent Mr Brzezinski a letter informing him he had been dismissed for "continuous aggressive behaviour" was rejected by the tribunal as an attempt to make it look as if he had been sacked for misconduct.

"In fact, he had been sacked summarily and unfairly for redundancy and was unfairly selected for a discriminatory reason," the panel said.

This attempt to "cover their tracks by producing a spurious letter" was an aggravating factor in the amount of money awarded as compensation, it said.

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