Many call centre employees in India take on western names while interacting with callers, but now a Leicester-based telesales company has been found guilty of racial discrimination for forcing Indian-origin employees to adopt English names.

An employee Rahul Jain (28) was made to change his name to Rob Matthews by the Teachares 2 Parents company, which offers ‘effortless communication' between teachers and parents. His white colleagues could retain their original names at work.

The company founded in 2007 is incidentally owned by Indian-origin entrepreneurs, Suresh Patel and Uresh Naik.

Mr. Jain complained against the forced change of name, and now an employment tribunal has found the employers guilty of racial discrimination, the Daily Mail reported on Saturday.

The tribunal was told that the company “had a number of staff of Indian-ethnic origin who adopted anglicised names at work.”

They included Aarti (Anna), Mehul (Max), Sarbjit (Sally), Meera (Marie), Neeraj (Neil), Prakhash (Terry), Jaspal (Jay), Jayna (Jane) and Faizal (Fred).

The employers reportedly claimed that English names were easier for customers to spell in emails, and that customers had struggled with Indian names.