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Beckford v London Borough of Southwark UKEAT/0210/14; (2016) EMPLR 010
27 November 2015
Employment Appeal Tribunal
Compensation for unlawful discrimination normally includes an award for injury to feelings. The award normally falls within one of three bands, established by the EAT in Da’Bell v NSPCC:
£500 to £6,000 for less serious cases such as one-off incidents
£6,000 - £18,000 for more serious cases
£18,000 to £30,000 for the most serious cases involving lengthy campaigns of harassment.
In Simmons v Castle, the Court of Appeal held that awards in the civil courts for general damages for pain and suffering, inconvenience, mental distress and loss of society should be increased by 10%, because of the change in rules about costs in the civil courts. That change brought the costs rules in the civil courts closer to those in employment tribunals. The question for the EAT in this case was whether that 10% uplift should apply to awards for discrimination for ‘injury to feelings’.
Decisions of the EAT on this point so far have not been consistent. Two appeals to the Court of Appeal on this point are to be heard in the next 12 months. Here, the employment tribunal had applied the 10% uplift. The employers appealed. The EAT dismissed the appeal but allowed the employers to apply for a review of the decision after the Court of Appeal’s decisions.