Accent is perfectly OK, says court

PTI | By, London
Nov 29, 2007 01:45 AM IST

A British BPO worker of Indian origin, sent home early from a work trip to Delhi as his accent "wasn't English enough", has won a racial discrimination claim.

A British call centre worker of Indian origin sent home early from a work trip to Delhi as his accent "wasn't English enough" has won a racial discrimination claim against his employer.

HT Image
HT Image

Chetankumar Meshram from Northampton has been awarded a compensation of 5,000 pounds after his employer Talk Talk was found guilty of racial discrimination for sending him back to Britain just three weeks into a two-month post at the telecom firm's India office,

The Times

reported in London on Wednesday.

"I was called into a meeting with my boss, who told me I was to be replaced with a better English speaker. I know I speak with an accent but my job out there's to give technical advice, not to give expertise on how to communicate. It was an embarrassing and humiliating experience," Meshram said.

The 27-year-old, who was born in India but moved to Britain in 2005, brought his claim in January with the help of the Northamptonshire Racial Equality Council. Last week, the Bedford Employment Tribunal found that he had suffered both direct and indirect discrimination and awarded him the compensation for hurt feelings and expenses incurred during his trip to India.

"I hope that this ruling will encourage people to select employees to carry out work based on their skills and knowledge regardless of what country they live or work in," he was quoted as saying.

Christopher Fray of the Equality Council said, "This case delivers a clear message to the community that preconceived ideas about a person's intelligence or ability should not be judged by the type of accent they speak with."

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