We often receive enquiries from clients asking us how much their claims for discrimination could be worth. This post explores how the Employment Tribunal go about making awards for claims of this nature.
The calculation of compensation for a discrimination claim is based on the financial losses you have suffered, along with an award for something termed “injury to feelings”. Unlike in claims for what we term ordinary unfair dismissal, there is no upper limit on compensation. A breakdown of what you might look to recover is set out below.
The financial losses you will suffer because of discrimination could include loss of earnings but may also include loss of benefits such as bonus, employer pension contributions, car allowance, and private healthcare cover. When preparing your loss information make a list of all the income and benefits you received so you can accurately assess the losses you have suffered.
In addition to obvious losses such as those listed above, you can also look to recover ongoing losses, even if you find new work. For example, if you secure a new job but it is further to travel, or there are expenses associated with it such as uniform charges etc… these can also be included in your loss calculations.
It is best to set out your financial losses in clearly defined periods of time. This will include from the date of the act of discrimination, until the date of your final hearing. Also remember that credit must be given for any alternative income you recover for the period in question.
Injury to Feelings
In discrimination claims, you can also recover “injury to feelings”. In the plainest terms, this is compensation for how upset and hurt the discrimination has caused you to feel.
Unfortunately, the Equality Act 2010 does not provide any guidance on how to assess injury to feelings. Therefore, we look to previously decided cases for help in assessing how much a Tribunal might award in any particular case. Broadly speaking, awards should not be so high as to amount to a windfall, but neither should they be so low as to diminish respect for the law. Issues that can impact on the value of a claim could be how long the discrimination lasted, if it was a serious campaign of harassment, if concerns were ignored, and if the employment ultimately came to an end.
In the leading case of Vento -v- Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police (No 2)  IRLR 102, the Court of Appeal set clear guidelines for the amount of compensation to be given for injured feelings and sets out three bands of potential awards. Each year the bands are reviewed and for cases decided after 6 April 2021, the current banding levels are as follows:
- Lower Band – £900 – £9,100 for less serious cases;
- Middle Band – £9,100 – £27,400 for cases that do not merit an award in the upper band;
- Upper Band – £27,400 – £45,600 for the most serious cases;
- The most exceptional cases – exceeding £45,600.
When considering where to pitch an award for injury to feelings, it is important to bear in mind that the Employment Tribunal will need to consider evidence on this point. Therefore, it will help your claim if you ensure your witness statement includes information about how upset you have been, if you stopped seeing people, avoided hobbies etc… It is also very helpful to have a statement from a family member or partner to corroborate your feelings. Additional information that could prove useful in supporting injury to feelings might also include a report or letter from a medical professional such as a counsellor, psychologist, or GP.
It is all too common for clients to overlook the compensation aspect of their claim and concentrate only on winning what we call the liability stage. Therefore, at the earliest opportunity it is important to carefully review and assess the value of the claim and take the necessary steps to ensure you have the evidence you need to get the best possible financial outcome.
Can Lincs Law Employment Solicitors Help You?
If you are pursuing a claim for discrimination and are struggling to calculate your compensation, we want to help. For a free telephone consultation, please do not hesitate to call 01522 440512. Alternatively, for more information about how to calculate your compensation, visit https://lincslaw.co.uk/services/employees/workplace-problems/discrimination-bullying-and-harassment/
Specialist Employment Law Solicitor
Lincs Law Employment Solicitors