Injury to Feelings Awards Increased

Friday 22 June 2018

Do you know what the new rates for injury to feelings are?

Awards for injury to feelings made under the Equality Act 2010 for discrimination have increased.

The old rates were:
• Lower band £600-£6,000 for one-off acts of discrimination
• Middle band £6,000-£18,000 for more serious acts of discrimination but that do not warrant the upper band
• Upper band £18,000-£30,000 for the most serious cases and in exceptional circumstances exceeding £30,000.

In keeping in line with inflation the presidents of the tribunals issued fresh guidance on the new rates.

The new rates for awards of injury to feelings applied from April:
• £900-£8,600 (lower band)
• £8,600-£25,700 (middle band)
• £25,700-£42,900 (upper band).

A recent ruling by the court of appeal(CA) in PJ Grosset v City of York Council illustrates how the court use their discretion in making awards for injury to feelings. Mr Grosset had worked as a teacher at Joseph Rowntree School. He suffered with cystic fibrosis which the school were aware of. An increased work load led to Mr Grosset suffering with stress which was as the CA put it was ‘contributed to by his cystic fibrosis’. Mr Grosset had, without seeking permission, shown a screening of ‘Halloween’ to a class of 15 and 16 year olds. When the school found out Mr Grosset was suspended from work which later led to him being summarily dismissed. Mr Grosset claimed unfair dismissal and disability discrimination (DD). His claim for unfair dismissal failed but he was eventually successful in his claim for DD. The CA awarded £646,000!

This case highlights the need for businesses to ensure that their staff are fully trained in equality and diversity. Also as the school were aware that he was suffering with stress and cystic fibrosis, which could potentially be considered disabilities, it ought to have sought medical evidence to ascertain if either of these would have had an impact of his performance.

If you require help and advice regarding any HR matter, please contact us.

Ruth Frank, Employment Law Consultant, Qdos HR

Ruth graduated in 1999 with a Degree in Law with honours and is a highly-experienced HR and employment law advisor. Prior to joining Qdos in 2010, Ruth worked in various roles where she has advised on employment law; worked for a national consultancy business as HR/employment law advisor and worked as a claimant representative for seven years which involved managing cases from the start through to representation at Employment Tribunal. In total she has 18 years employment law experience.

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