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Extra payment for injured feelings ‘does not apply to tribunals’

Posted: 9th April 2015   In: Business Employment, Individual Employment

A Court of Appeal ruling that a 10% uplift should be applied to general damages awards in civil claims for pain and suffering does not apply to employment tribunals.

That was the decision of the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) in a recent discrimination case.

The hearing involved a woman who claimed that her employer had discriminated against her on the grounds of her disability. The Employment Tribunal awarded her compensation of £9,000 for injury to feelings and £3,000 for psychiatric injury.

In calculating the award, the tribunal took into account the Court of Appeal ruling in a recent case (Simmons v Castle 2012) which provided that general damages in civil claims for pain or suffering would increase by 10% from April 2013.

The tribunal decided that this uplift should apply to the woman’s psychiatric injury but not to the injury to feelings.

This led to an appeal by both sides: the employee argued that the uplift should apply to both forms of injury and the employer said it should not apply to either.

The EAT found in favour of the employer.

It said that the uplift had been implemented as part of recent reforms of the civil courts. Those reforms related specifically to civil proceedings and cases before employment tribunals were not “civil proceedings”. The man behind the reforms, Sir Rupert Jackson, had made it clear in his report that “any proposed reform of tribunals falls outside my terms of reference”.

Therefore the uplift should not apply in tribunal cases.

Please contact John Carter if you would like more information about the issues raised in this article or any aspect of employment law.