Worker Sacked by Lloyds Bank for Saying Racial Slur During Training Session Is Awarded Damages


The Free Speech Union has secured hundreds of thousands for one of its dyslexic members who was unfairly dismissed in a work free speech race row.

A dyslexic Lloyds Bank manager has secured hundreds of thousands of pounds in damages after he was unfairly dismissed for saying a racial slur in a training session.

On Saturday, The Free Speech Union (FSU) said that it had “won a landmark victory” against Lloyds Bank for Carl Borg-Neal, who was fired for gross misconduct after he quoted an imaginary person using the n-word in a question about a hypothetical situation.

The Epoch Times has not been able to independently verify the amount awarded to Mr. Borg-Neal.

On its site, FSU said it had secured damages “likely to exceed £800,000.” Lloyds Bank disputes this amount. The Telegraph reported that the sum is £490,000.

In 2021, the bank was rolling out race education training to over 70,000 employees. At the start of the session, a trainer read out a script that established, “When we talk about race, people often worry about saying the wrong thing.”

“Please understand that today is your opportunity to practice, learn, and be clumsy. The goal is to start talking, so please speak freely, and forgive yourself and others when being clumsy today,” she added.


Mr. Borg-Neal said he was relieved to hear that since his dyslexia can occasionally cause him to “be clumsy” when speaking “freely.”

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At one point during one of the race education training sessions, which was discussing intent versus effect, Mr. Borg-Neal asked how he should handle a situation where he heard someone from an ethnic minority use a word that might be considered offensive if used by someone not within that minority.

He said that he was thinking partly about rap music.

When he did not get an immediate response from the trainer, he added, “The most common example being the use of [the n-word] in the black community.”

The Free Speech Union said that after the course, the trainer claimed she “was so offended by use of the n-word that she was too sick to work and took five days off,” at which point the provider then complained to Lloyds Bank.

The trainer expressing that she needed to take time off then triggered an investigation. The bank subsequently accused Mr. Borg-Neal of racism and launched a disciplinary process that led to his dismissal for gross misconduct.

In court in August, a three-person tribunal panel said that the bank accepted that the claimant did not intend to cause any hurt, that he asked the question with no malice, and that the question itself was valid.

It said that the evidence “led us to believe, on the balance of probabilities, that the claimant’s dyslexia was a strong factor causing how he expressed himself at the session, and in his use of the full word rather than finding a means to avoid it.”

Following the initial judgment, Mr. Borg-Neal asked for his old job back, and it was only following what the remedy hearing panel described as “strong opposition” to this suggestion from the bank that he reluctantly withdrew his request and instead sought compensation.

The FSU said that the final amount is “being determined as the respective legal teams calculate interest on the damages and grossed up tax.”

‘Comfortable Until Retirement Age’

The Free Speech Union said it “is delighted that Carl has been able to obtain justice.”

“Not only did he lose a job where he’d found he could excel, in spite of his disability, but during the initial, unnecessarily lengthy disciplinary process and the legal battle that followed his health suffered,” it said.

“He is not able to return to work in financial services and earn the same salary, so the compensation he has recovered reflects this and means that Carl will be comfortable until retirement age,” it added.

A Lloyds Banking Group spokesperson disputed the £800,000 figure and told The Epoch Times by email, “We received the judgement in August and accept its findings.”


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