Manager removed from coronavirus testing site after racism complaint
- Credit: Mike Page
A manager was dismissed from a Norfolk coronavirus testing centre on Tuesday after allegedly making racist comments.
G4S, which runs the drive-through facility at Postwick Park and Ride, removed the manager after complaints from workers that he had used the “N-word” as a “joke”.
In a complaint to G4S and an employment agency, staff alleged that the racism went beyond one comment.
They claimed the manager:
-Referred to a European employee as a “refugee” in front of other staff
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-Repeatedly asked how two siblings working on site could be related when they have “different skin colours”.
-Failed to investigate how a swastika was scratched in to one of the site’s cabins
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-Shared racist comments on Facebook about immigrants and ethnic minorities being criminals
On Sunday, the manager told staff in a morning briefing: “I had an issue brought to me this morning. It is quite a serious issue that apparently I used an inappropriate word.
In a video seen by this newspaper he said: “Now if that is the case, I don’t believe I did, then my door is always open.
“The word that is supposed to have been used, I would not have used. So to be honest I’m quite surprised that if anything I’ve said has upset somebody.”
A staff member first complained on June 21 to their employment agency, HR GO. A second email was sent on Sunday, July 12.
On July 7, staff also emailed G4S to complain.
“Comments have caused myself and several members at the Postwick Testing site to feel uncomfortable,” they wrote.
However Samantha Mills, G4S Eastern regional manager, said the company was only told about the racist comments on Sunday and “quickly started an investigation”.
“We do not tolerate racism in any form and take swift action when incidents occur that go against our values,” she said.
“This complaint relates to one person, and we are extremely proud of our thousands of dedicated team members at testing sites across the country.”
A HR GO spokesman said: “These allegations are taken very seriously and we will be liaising with G4S during their investigation.”