Rise in damages for hurt feelings in employment disputes

The level of compensation a victim receives for hurt feelings in employment disputes is to be raised by 10%.

Earlier in the year, the Court of Appeal decided that there should be a 10% rise in the monetary value placed on a victim’s hurt feelings in civil cases. The Employment Appeal Tribunal has now confirmed that this will also apply to cases between employers and their staff.

The level of hurt feelings that an employee might suffer will be assessed and categorised into one of the following bands:

Bottom Band – with damages from £600 – £6,600. This applies to moderate cases of hurt feelings, usually relating to a one-off incident.
Middle Band – with damages from £6,600 – £19,800, for a case that would be considered too serious to be classed as the bottom band, but not severe enough for the top.
Top Band – with damages from £19,800 – £33,000, for serious cases of discrimination or harassment that have been ongoing for long periods of time.

Claims that are subject to the change include cases such as sex, race or age discrimination, as well as bullying at work and unfair dismissals.

In order for the court to decide the level of hurt feelings suffered, claimants will be required to provide evidence on exactly what happened to them, how it affected their time at work and at home, and if they suffered any long term effects. Statements from family members, friends, colleagues or medical experts may also be requested.

Please contact us at employment@berrysmith.com if you would like more information about the issues raised in this article or any aspect of employment law.