Claims can be brought against the employer and also against individuals in a personal capacity who have been involved in the acts of discrimination, such as a manager or other employee. Apart from any loss of earnings that may be awarded, employees who are successful in their claim can also claim for injury to feelings. Injury to feelings awards are set in bands depending on the extent and severity of the discrimination incurred. Those bands increase each year.
From 6 April 2021 the bands will increase as follows:
It is crucially important that employers have an equal opportunities policy that they operate and take heed of, that they train their staff to ensure incidents of discrimination do not arise and that they train their managers on how to deal with discrimination issues and complaints should they receive concerns or grievances of this nature. Such training should be kept up to date – see our previous article if employers wish to be able to have any chance of relying on the statutory defence to discrimination claims – that they did all they reasonably could to prevent discrimination occurring. Otherwise, they will remain liable for the acts of their staff and the compensation that results from it.
If you need an equal opportunities policy, need yours reviewing or require training for staff and/or managers to help avoid against such claims arising and protect your position if they do, please contact a member of the Employment Team on firstname.lastname@example.org to request details of our Employment Law – Training Day 1 course.
Please note this information is provided by way of example and may not be complete and is certainly not intended to constitute legal advice. You should take bespoke advice for your circumstances.