Discrimination Claims – What Are They Worth?
Discrimination Claims – What Are They Worth? Timms Employment Law Solicitor, Emma Spandrzyk discusses in her latest blog….
As employment practitioners, the first question that we are often asked is “Do I have a claim for discrimination against my employer?” If the answer to that is yes, the second question that follows is usually “What can I expect to achieve if I am successful in bringing a claim?”
Being discriminated against means you are treated less favourably than others because of a ‘protected characteristic’ such as your race, sex, disability or age. If you suffer loss or harm as a result of discrimination, the law says that you are entitled to compensation for being so badly treated. However, what does this compensation actually consist of?
The Employment Tribunal has the power to order financial compensation along with other remedies designed to prevent such actions from occurring again in the future.
Discrimination Claims – The Financial Element
The financial element can include compensation for:
Loss Of Earnings – This is to compensate you for actual losses caused by being out of work, for example, loss of salary.
Injury To Feelings – There are three categories of injury to feelings which are often referred to as the ‘Vento bands’ (named after the case where they were first introduced). Compensation is awarded depending on the severity of your case:
- Less serious cases: £990 – £9,900
- Moderately serious cases: £9,900 – £29,600
- Extremely serious cases: £29,600 – £49,300
Less serious cases usually involve a one-off or an isolated incident and this is the most common award that we see. An extremely serious case will often involve a sustained campaign of treatment of the most serious discrimination. Instances like this in practice are quite rare.
Aggravated Damages – If your employer has deliberately discriminated against you when they knew what they were doing was against the law, or they acted in a particularly unpleasant manner when they defend your claim, a Tribunal can make an award for aggravated damages. Although this compensation is available, it is quite unusual to see an award being made.
The Tribunal also has the power to award non-monetary remedies for example:
A Declaration – The Tribunal can make a declaration that your employer has discriminated against you.
Recommendations – The Tribunal can recommend that your employer takes action to correct the situation, to limit the damage being done and/or to take steps to eliminate or reduce the effect of discrimination on other employees within the business.
It is important to note that a Tribunal cannot force an employer to promote an employee or indeed to give a candidate preferential treatment for a job.
Much to the dismay of some of our clients, there is also no power to compel an employer to formally apologise for its actions. However, there is some comfort to be taken from the fact that when successful, Tribunal judgements are public documents which can be accessed readily. Although this is not a formal apology for the treatment suffered, a judgement upholding less favourable treatment is always welcomed.
How Can Timms Help?
If you believe that you have been subjected to less favourable treatment at work and you need advice on pursuing a discrimination claim against your employer, please don’t hesitate to contact me on 01530 564498 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, you can visit the Employment Law page of our website here.