• Robert Spicer

Recent Compensation Awards In Discrimination Cases



Case Austin v West Sussex County Council (2014) Eq Opp Rev 249:15, Havant ET

Facts Labelling a complaint against a male employee as sexual harassment without evidence of sexual misconduct showed that the employer had prejudged the outcome of disciplinary proceedings. A hypothetical female comparator would not have been treated in that way.

Remedies * Injury to feelings: grave case of direct discrimination: middle Vento band: £7500 plus 25% uplift.

  • Past loss of earnings: £69, 615

  • Future loss of earnings: 17 weeks: £18,785.



Case O’Farrell v Harlow District Council (2014) Eq Opp Rev 249:15, East London ET

Facts The ET upheld O’s complaint of victimisation in relation to dismissal from her position as a lawyer, the employer’s conduct of her appeal against dismissal, and its failure to provide a grievance appeal.

Remedies: * Polkey reduction 30%:

  • Failure to comply with ACAS Code of Practice: 15% uplift

  • Past loss of earnings: £24,890

  • Future loss of earnings: 9 months: £14,083

  • Pension loss: substantial loss approach: £69,900

  • Injury to feelings: Vento middle band: £10,000



Case Marriott v The Good Agency Group Ltd (2014) Eq Opp Rev 249:18, London South ET

Facts M was told that she would have to work full-time when she returned from maternity leave. She resigned and complained of constructive dismissal and indirect sex discrimination.

Decision 1. There was a PCP that employees were required to work full-time hours. This necessarily had a greater impact on females of child-bearing age and was indirect discrimination. The employer’s justification of the PCP was rejected.

Remedies 43 weeks loss of earnings: £250 per week childcare costs deducted.

Injury to feelings: middle Vento: £12,000




Case Grant v SPG Hygiene Ltd and Granger (2014) Eq Opp Rev 249:17, Liverpool ET

Facts When G returned from additional maternity leave, she was not allowed to return to her old duties but was given tedious and menial work. She complained and her complaints were ignored. She complained of direct and indirect sex discrimination.

Decision 1. G had been denied her right to return from maternity leave to the same job. This was direct discrimination.

2. There had been indirect discrimination. There was a provision, criterion or practice that long-term absent employees would not be consulted about any changes to their duties. This out women on maternity leave at a particular disadvantage.

3. Her manager had ignored her and treated her rudely. This amounted to sexual harassment.

Remedies Injury to feelings: considerable upset and distress: middle Vento band: £18,000

Aggravated damages: £1000: no apology given: her manager regarded himself as above the law because he was the boss.

Uplift: 25%.

Reinstatement to original role ordered.




Case Alam v Khan and others (2014) Eq Opp Rev 249:18, East London ET

Facts A was treated unfavourably because she was pregnant. She was subjected to detriments including ignoring her concerns about health and safety matters and cleaning products and threatening her with dismissal when she was ill, suspending her without pay and acting belligerently towards her.

Remedies Very distressing course of conduct: middle Vento band: £13,760.

Aggravated damages: £2000 based on employer’s conduct of proceedings.



Case Sheridan v Stevens; Wood v Stevens (2014) Eq Opp Rev 249:19, London East ET

Facts St, the owner and director Precious Self, complained of discrimination. Sh compromised her claim for £2000 and W’s claim succeeded in the ET. Neither received any money. Precious Self ceased trading and its business was taken over by PS & LG. St knew that the claimants had not been paid. Sh and W complained of victimisation.

Decision The ET found that St had made payments from the company with the aim of ensuring that no funds were available to pay the claimants. This amounted to victimisation.

Remedies Injury to feelings: the claimants had hurt feelings: £2500

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