The head of Scotland's Trades Union Congress (STUC) has denied racially discriminating against a worker and threatening him with the sack when he raised a tribunal against the body.

General Secretary Grahame Smith was giving evidence at the employment tribunal of former development officer Zaffir Hakim when he was also quizzed on the lack of up-to-date legislation in the STUC's employment policies and forced to admit it was "embarrassing".

Mr Hakim, who worked within the STUC's anti-racism project One Workplace Equal Rights (OWER), is suing the body for unfair dismissal, race discrimination and victimisation, which the union denies.

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The worker, who is of Pakistani origin, claims he was discriminated against by bosses when they made him redundant in March last year, but kept on a white colleague in a similar role.

Mr Smith told the tribunal that Mr Hakim was made redundant because the Scottish Government refused to renew funding for his role.

Employment judge Claire McManus heard that Mr Hakim's colleague Alan White worked as part of the STUC's Equality Mentoring Work Shadowing (EMWS) project and his funding was due to run out on the same date as Mr Hakim's.

However, funding for that project, where Mr Hakim also worked one day a week, was extended by a few months so Mr White was kept on and later given another role within the STUC.

Lawyer Peter O'Donnell, representing the STUC said to Mr Smith: "It may be put to you that Mr White had taken over Mr Hakim's job, is that correct?"

Mr Smith said: "No."

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Mr O'Donnell added: "What would have happened if funding for the OWER project had been continued & funding for EMWS had been stopped?"

Mr Smith replied: "Alan White would have left the organisation and Zaff would have continued with his employment."

During cross-examination, Mr Hakim's representative Jatin Haria referred the tribunal to the STUC's equal opportunities policy and put it to Mr Smith that it did not contain up-to-date legislation, including making no mention of the Equality Act 2010.

He said "isn't it a little embarrassing that the Equality Act isn't mentioned in your equal opportunities policy?

Mr Smith said: "If it's not referenced then it's embarrassing yes."

He added that the policy had been looked at and updated in the last 18 months, but it had "not been updated to include new legislation" and this was "unacceptable".

The tribunal later heard how Mr Hakim had 11 years service with the STUC, but lost out to Mr White despite him having only been with the union for two years.

He was working on a fixed-term contract, and there was confusion over why he had not asked to be made a permanent employee after four years, as he was entitled to.

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Explaining why Mr Hakim had not been chosen to take over Mr White's project instead of being made redundant, Mr Smith said: "I considered the requirements of the project. I didn't consider the length of service.

"My primary consideration was the requirement of the project and what was required to complete it."

Details emerged of a short meeting between Mr Smith and Mr Hakim to confirm his redundancy.

It was put to Mr Smith that this was not a real consultation, as Mr Hakim had not been given union representation and there had been no offer of counselling or of time off to find new employment.

Mr Smith disagreed, saying that Mr Hakim could have asked for representation if he felt it was required.

He added that he could not explain why a letter confirming the results of the meeting did not arrive until a month later, although he suggested it had been disrupted by the Christmas holidays.

The tribunal continues.