Reverse racism test case not a threat to restaurants

29 April 2008 by
Reverse racism test case not a threat to restaurants

Lawyers have played down fears that a test case for "reverse discrimination" being heard in London will prevent hospitality operators from employing staff based on their nationality.

A former British employee of a Korean investment bank is seeking six-figure compensation amid allegations of discrimination against non-Korean employees.

The case has sparked fears that restaurants that employ staff based on their nationality to retain the authenticity of the establishment could be forced to open up their recruitment practices.

But Nick Treppass, employment law expert and partner at Howard Kennedy, said employing staff based on their ethnicity remains protected by the Race Relations Act, although he cautioned that this only applies to certain roles.

"If there is a genuine requirement for staff based on their ethnicity, such as retaining the authenticity of an ethnic restaurant, then that is fine," he told Caterersearch.

"But if this practice was extended to the back of house then things would be different. Here you would not be able to exclude someone and you would have to employ them on merit."

The employment policies of specialist restaurants has become a hot political issue in recent months.

In March, the ethnic restaurant industry expressed fears that it would be hit hard by the new points based migration system and urged the Government to ease new restrictions on migrant workers in curry restaurants.

In response Prime Minister Gordon brown said UK workers should be trained up to fill the gaps.

Ethnic Catering Alliance to hold demo over immigration rules>>

Immigration squeeze hits ethnic restaurant sector>>

By Christopher Walton

E-mail your comments to Christopher Walton here.

Get your copy of Caterer and Hotelkeeper every week -

The Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email

Start the working day with The Caterer’s free breakfast briefing email

Sign Up and manage your preferences below

Check mark icon
Thank you

You have successfully signed up for the Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email and will hear from us soon!

Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

The highest official awards for UK businesses since being established by royal warrant in 1965. Read more.


Ad Blocker detected

We have noticed you are using an adblocker and – although we support freedom of choice – we would like to ask you to enable ads on our site. They are an important revenue source which supports free access of our website's content, especially during the COVID-19 crisis.

trade tracker pixel tracking