Almost 5 years ago, in the case of Simmons v Castle  EWCA Civ 1039, the Court of Appeal ruled that as from 1 April 2013, any special damages arising in personal injury claims should be increased by 10%. The County Court uses a well-oiled common law system to assess damages in personal injury claims and the effect was that if a court made a Judgement on 31 March 2013 to the effect that a claimant was entitled to special damages of £20,000, the same Judge, on the same set of facts, would award £22,000 if the Judgement should be made on or after 1 April 2013.
Section 124 of the Equality Act 2010 provides that compensation for Injury to Feelings should correspond to the amount which could be awarded by a County Court.
In De Souza v Vinci Construction UK Ltd  EWCA Civ 879 the Court of Appeal has recently been asked to decide on whether awards in the Employment Tribunal should be increased by 10% in line with their County Court counterparts. The Court of Appeal found that not only should psychiatric injury awards be increased by 10% in line with the Simmons case, but that Injury to Feeling awards should also be increased by 10%.
The effect of this decision is to immediately increase the potential injury to feeling damages in discrimination cases by 10%.
Employers can reduce the risk of a successful discrimination claim by ensuring their employees are properly trained in equal opportunities and that an up to date equal opportunities policy is implemented.
Greystone Legal provides equal opportunities training and can help employers to introduce and implement and effective equal opportunities policy. Contact us today for further information.