The recent case of De Souza v Vinci Construction, raised an important point for discrimination claims in the Employment Tribunal.

The principle at issue was whether personal injury and injury to feelings awards should be uplifted by 10% as they are in the civil courts for non-monetary loss.

In the Employment Tribunal, Ms De Souza succeeded in a claim of disability discrimination and was awarded £9,000 for injury to feelings and £3,000 for psychiatric injury. The Employment Tribunal was asked to determine whether these awards should be uplifted by 10% in the same way as the civil courts and concluded that the uplift should only apply to the psychiatric injury award, thereby increasing this award to £3,300.

Both parties appealed this decision and the Employment Appeal Tribunal concluded that the uplift applied to neither the personal injury nor the injury to feelings awards.

Following further appeal, the Court of Appeal concluded (overturning the EAT) that the uplift should be applied to both injury to feelings and psychiatric injury awards. In reaching its conclusion the Court of Appeal stated that s.124(6) Equality Act 2010 required discrimination awards to correspond with that which could be awarded by the county court.

Following this decision it is inevitable that claimants in discrimination cases will routinely seek to recover the 10% uplift going forward. The Court of Appeal’s decision could therefore have wide implications for employers. This is particularly so in cases which involve little or no financial loss as these cases will become more expensive to settle and/or the ante has been raised for employers defending such claims.

If you would like to discuss any issues raised in this article, we have specific employment law expertise in advising in this area. For further advice, please contact Alex Evans or a member of the Employment Team.

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.

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