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Sacking was not racial, tribunal heard

PUBLISHED: 13:59 11 May 2002 | UPDATED: 11:53 03 March 2010

OFFICIALS from the Refugee Council said that Daniel Tadesse lost his job at the Ipswich office of the charity because he failed to adopt professional standards of work and not because of his race.

OFFICIALS from the Refugee Council said that Daniel Tadesse lost his job at the Ipswich office of the charity because he failed to adopt professional standards of work and not because of his race.

Mr Tadesse, 34, of Wilberforce Street, Ipswich, claims he was the victim of racial discrimination and unfair dismissal when managers refused to renew his contract in August last year.

He is also alleging he was refused promotion to a permanent job while two white women with less experience were taken on.

Mr Tadesse had worked at the charity, first as a volunteer and then as an agency worker, since October 2000.

At yesterday's hearing in Bury St Edmunds, Laura Griggs, who manages the Refugee Council offices in Museum Street, Ipswich, strongly denied there was any racial element in the decision not to retain Mr Tadesse.

She said that Mr Tadesse had been a valued member of the team providing advice and help to refugees and he had been provided with a high level of support.

Ms Griggs added: "The issue was not that he made mistakes. It was that he made mistakes and was unable to take responsibility and then move on".

When the tribunal opened in March, Ms Griggs said that Mr Tadesse had failed to observe boundaries in his relationships with clients laid down in the council's rules and behaved inappropriately.

Incidents had included him helping to wire electrical appliances at flats in Ipswich and driving a vulnerable female asylum seeker to Felixstowe for an interview with immigration officers despite

having been warned not to do so.

Deputy manager at the Ipswich office, Thomas Daly, said Mr Tadesse had been a popular and valued worker but had at the same time failed to observe established limits to his role.

Mr Daly said: "No matter how committed he was, no matter how hard I worked, I could not develop a professional approach from him"

When the hearing opened, Mr Tadesse said he had used his own experience as a refugee to help asylum seekers with tasks such as learning English and setting up medical appointments.

The tribunal panel adjourned the hearing to allow consideration of the evidence. Chairman Mr Brian Mitchell said it was hoped that a decision would be announced within a month.


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