An employment and equality tribunal has ruled that a senior lecturer was not constructively dismissed, nor was he harassed or discriminated against because of his race.

Raymond Ndengeya took the claim against Manx Care to the tribunal, with evidence heard over a three-day period.

Mr Ndengeya, originally from Zimbabwe and now living in New Zealand, moved to the island in 2016 to take up a role of senior lecturer in mental health. At the time, he was employed by the DHSC, before moving to Manx Care when it was created in 2021.

The tribunal, chaired by Douglas Stewart, heard during his time in the island Mr Ndengeya was concerned about the problem of waiting-lists for psychological services which led to him volunteering to start a training course in cognitive behaviour therapy.

It said: ‘Almost single-handedly, with his enthusiasm, Mr Ndengeya drove through and surmounted obstacles to course accreditation, whether on-Island or involving the University of Chester. In consequence, he was ultimately able to achieve creation of an accredited training course, which remains ongoing.’

However, in his evidence he said that the significant challenges he overcame in doing this had led to burnout and by 2021, he started applying for jobs in New Zealand where he had lived previously.

Mr Ndengya applied for a sabbatical, but this was refused for what he considered to be racially motivated reasons. This led to him submitting his notice in April 2022.

The tribunal heard from Manx Care chief executive Teresa Cope, who didn’t dispute not responding to some emails from Mr Ndengya, but said that she receives ‘hundreds of emails every day’ so not all get answered. She also recalled two meetings with him and accepted that he had worked hard but that this wasn’t a matter for her but one for his line manager.

Mrs Cope also stressed that any failure to reply to any emails had been ‘absolutely not in anyway because of race’.

Mr Ndengya spoke to his line manager, Catherine Black, about his wanting to take a sabbatical, but the request was refused because Mrs Black decided there was nobody available who could cover his work.

The tribunal said: ‘With Mr Ndengeya moving to New Zealand, Mrs Black did not think it was worth trying to persuade him to stay. She had been upset when she later learned that she was being criticised by him for allowing someone else who was white and British, to take part-time hours. That decision had nothing to do with race.’

Having heard evidence from these key witnesses, as well as other professionals at Noble’s Hospital, the tribunal said that: ‘Without question, in a modern society, racialism remains a blight, whether in day-to-day domestic life, sport or the workplace. Noble’s Hospital is not immune to this based on Mrs Cope’s evidence.’

However, it found that his allegations of racial prejudice were ‘misconceived and potentially damaging to the reputation of Manx Care and to the personnel against whom criticisms had been made’.

The ruling added that the allegations ‘demeaned him and did not improve the cause of prevention of racism in the community’.