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Judicial Consultation Commences to Increase Discrimination Awards

21 Jul 2017

Following from our Insight blog on 7 July 2017, when we reported the likely increase of Tribunal awards in discrimination cases, the President of the Employment Tribunals has commenced a Judicial Consultation into increasing the awards for injury to feeling and psychiatric injury following De Souza v Vinci Construction (UK) Ltd [2017] EWCA Civ 879.

 

In Vento v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police (No. 2) [2002] EWCA Civ 1871, [2003] IRLR 102, [2003] ICR 318 the Court of Appeal identified three broad bands of compensation for injury to feelings awards. The lower band of £500 to £5,000 applied in less serious cases. The middle band of £5,000 to £15,000 applied in serious cases that did not merit an award in the upper band. The upper band of between £15,000 and £25,000 applied in the most serious cases (with the most exceptional cases capable of exceeding £25,000).

 

The Employment Appeal Tribunal revisited the bands in Da’Bell v NSPCC (2009) UKEAT/0220/09 and increased them as follows:

 

-      Lower band: £600-£6,000;

-      Middle band: £6,000 - £18,000; and

-      Upper band: £18,000-£30,000

 

The bands have not been increased since 2009.

 

The President of the Employment Tribunal has the power to issue guidance the Employment Tribunals as to matters of practise. Tribunals must have regard to such guidance but are not bound by it.

 

The present consultation has looked at the effect of inflation over the last 8 years and is considering whether the bands should be increased as follows:

 

-      Lower band:         £1,000 - £8,000;

-      Middle band:        £8,000 – £25,000; and

-      Upper band:         £25,000 - £42,000.

 

The consultation goes further and proposes that the bands increase automatically each year in line with RPI and rounded up or down to the nearest £1,000.

 

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.

 

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