Not necessarily, I mean it could easily be a coincidence in either scenario as it could still be easily down to other factors, which have nothing to do with race. So that is why at the moment, without any specific evidence, it is a bit of a stab in the dark in the hope it may be the reason.
The first and most important thing to appreciate is that furlough is not an employee’s right and there is no ‘right to be furloughed’. It is simply an option open to employers to use as they see fit and the Government has entrusted them fully to decide as and when furlough needs to be applied. Therefore, even if an employee meets all the criteria to be eligible for furlough, the employer can still decide not to do so and they cannot challenge that decision (unless it was made on discriminatory grounds such as because of gender, age, race, religion, etc).
So you could raise this issue with them about the alleged discrimination but bear in mind that it is certainly not a strong claim so far with the absence of evidence to back it up.
You can still raise a grievance about it though if you wanted to. You can get a detailed explanation of the grievance process here:
In summary, an employee is expected to submit their concerns in writing and send them to their line manager, or whoever is nominated as the person to send grievances to under an official workplace grievance policy.
The complaint should include details of what the grievance is about, any evidence that may exist which is relevant and also what the employee wants their employer to do about this issue.
Once the grievance has been submitted, the employer is expected to arrange a formal grievance hearing, inviting the employee to attend and discuss the nature of their complaint. The meeting is also as an opportunity to ask for further clarification or information, as required.
Following the meeting, the employer will take time to consider all the issues and evidence and then make a decision, communicating it to the employee. If the outcome is not to the complainant’s satisfaction, they can appeal and get a second opinion from a different person assigned by the employer to consider the appeal. Once the appeal is also completed, that brings to an end the formal grievance process and there is no option to escalate it further internally.