Although equality legislation provides that an award of damages in discrimination claims may include compensation for 'injured feelings', it does not provide for guidance on how such awards should be calculated. Assessment of awards for discriminatory acts instead falls to the Employment Tribunal.
The Presidents of the Employment Tribunals in both Scotland and England & Wales have, this week, published updated joint guidance on increasing the levels (or bands) of compensation that can be awarded to successful Claimants in discrimination cases heard by the Tribunal.
In their guidance, the Presidents of the Employment Tribunals have agreed that the bands in respect of damages for injured feelings in successful discrimination claims should be increased as follows:
* A lower band of £800 to £8,400 for less serious cases;
* A middle band of £8,400 to £25,200 for cases that do not merit an award in the upper band; and
* An upper band of £25,200 to £42,000, reserved for the most serious cases.
Guidance suggests that in the most exceptional cases, compensation for injured feelings may exceed £42,000.
These bands will apply to claims submitted to the Employment Tribunal on or after 11 September 2017.
The banding increase follows a recent Court of Appeal decision which determined that an increase in damages for psychiatric injury in civil cases should also apply to Employment Tribunal awards of compensation for injury to feelings and psychiatric injury.
If you would like to discuss the implications of the increased bands further, or you require any support on other employment law matters arising, please do not hesitate to contact our team on 0141 331 5150.