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Injury to feelings assessed by effect of discriminatory treatment not gravity of the acts

Makbool Javaid

The Vento guidelines for awards for injury to feelings indicate that the lowest band, currently £900-£8,800, is appropriate for less serious cases, such as where the act of discrimination is an isolated or one-off occurrence. In Komeng v Creative Support Limited an ET upheld K’s claim of direct race discrimination because he had been treated less favourably by the employer’s refusal, over a number of years, to help him to access a Level 3 NVQ course and requiring him to work every weekend. The ET recognised the significant upset and distress caused over that period of time and awarded K £8,400 for injury to feelings. The EAT rejected K’s appeal that the award was too low. The ET had correctly considered the effect of the discriminatory treatment on K and not the gravity of the employer’s acts. There is no hard and fast rule that the lower band is only appropriate for one off acts. Furthermore, K did not give evidence suggesting that he had been as adversely affected as many others might have been and he had displayed a remarkable resilience in the face of discriminatory treatment over several years.

The updates are kindly provided by Simons Muirhead & Burton Law firm

This update provides summary information and comment on the subject areas covered. Where employment tribunal and appellate court cases are reported, the information does not set out all of the facts, the legal arguments presented and help judgments made in every aspect of the case. Click on the links to access full details. If no link is provided, contact us for more information.  Employment law is subject to constant change either by statute or by interpretation by the courts. While every care has been taken in compiling this information, SM&B cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions. Specialist legal advice must be taken on any legal issues that may arise before embarking upon any formal course of action.

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