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Engineer claims discrimination

A Pakistan-born civil engineer from Cardiff was this week locked in a legal battle with Amec Utilities which he is claiming turned him down for an interview because of his 'foreign-sounding' name.

Qamar Mohammed Malik, who has lived in Wales since 1964, told an employment tribunal in Cardiff this week that Amec ignored his CV in November last year.

But he said he was called for an interview when he applied under a fictitious double-barrelled British alias.

Malik said the Amec office manager in Treforest, near Pontypridd, told him they could find him work given his experience when he telephoned before sending his CV.

But after sending his CV he was told that the company had already seen it when it was forwarded to them by the Anders Elite employment agency and that it had no suitable vacancies.

Malik, suspecting discrimination, then composed a similar CV, but with inferior qualifications, under the name of Rhyddir Aled Lloyd-Hilbert.

Malik who represented himself at the tribunal claims that Amec responded "positively" to this application within three hours of it being emailed to them on 20 November.

Malik said that he had to "take a stand for what was right".

An Amec spokesman said that the company "maintains it did not discriminate against Mr Malik in his application for work and are vigorously defending this case".

"We are a major international employer and have a proactive equal opportunities policy that is adhered to across the company. We employ thousands of people around the world and select people on their suitability for the job and we do not discriminate.

"We are proud to be an equal opportunities employer."

Malik studied civil engineering at the Polytechnic of Wales – now the University of Glamorgan. He has worked as a civil engineer specialising in water treatment for 25 years, but was made redundant by Thames Water a year ago. He now works for a civil engineering company at Canary Wharf, London.

The hearing finished on Tuesday with a judgement expected within two weeks.

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