Employment Tribunals are currently consulting over increasing compensation for discrimination claims.
Where discrimination is alleged against an employer, the employee’s claim is likely to include the following:
Financial losses, including loss of earnings; and
Non-financial losses arising as a result of the way in which the discrimination has made them feel, known as an award for ‘injury to feelings’.
It is the latter which the Tribunals are currently considering.
Guideline rates were set out in case law in 2003 and cover three bands, depending on the seriousness of the injury to feelings. To keep pace with inflation and changes in the law, the proposal (as at 18 July 2017) is for the new bands to be as follows:
For lower band claims: £1,000 - £8,000
For middle band claims: £8,000 - £25,000
For top band claims: £25,000 - £42,000
The award for injury to feelings often isn’t the major consideration where discrimination claims are concerned and in the grand scheme of things, the increases aren’t huge.
What is of greater concern is usually financial loss, such as loss of earnings and pension provision, particularly where the employer operates a final salary scheme. Where discrimination is proven, financial losses are not subject to any sort of cap, leaving employers wide open to substantial awards being made against them.
Naturally, the amount for each claim will vary depending on the circumstances. If you are faced with an allegation of discrimination (or think this might be looming), take advice sooner rather than later. Contact a member of our Employment Law team who would be pleased to help.