Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of MRW, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Cleanaway pays price for gay taunts

One of Britain's biggest waste firms has been forced to pay £35,000 to a worker who quit after being taunted by his bosses for being gay.
Cleanaway was found guilty of constructive dismissal and unlawful harassment on grounds of sexual orientation at the Employment Tribunals in London this week.
Business transformation manager Robert Whitfield, 28, was subjected to "persistent" discrimination that "seriously damaged" his employment relationship, said the panel.
The tribunal's judgement goes to the core of the company, with senior managers and its human resources department blamed.
The panel heard that Whitfield never told his bosses he was gay as he considered it to be a personal matter.
Cleanaway's actions received widespread media coverage as it was a landmark ruling - and included a reference to hit TV show Little Britain.
Whitfield was reportedly the first person to win a case under the new Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Act.
In the tribunal he described how he was frequently called Sebastian by his colleagues, a nickname he felt referred to the camp Prime Minister's assistant in the BBC comedy.
Sales and marketing director Paul Jackson and UK sales manager Martin Hadfield were accused of humiliating Whitfield in front of his colleagues because he was gay, while Cleanaway's human resources department was understaffed, acted inappropriately at times and gave "muddled evidence" to the court, according to the judgement.
Whitfield suffered a five-month period of harassment at the firm's Brentwood, Essex offices, ending when he could take no more and handed his notice in on May 6 last year, the judgement found.
Among other incidents, he was told to wear a t-shirt with pink lettering on it, called a queen and saw a presentation he prepared for a sales meeting sabotaged.

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.