If an employee behaves in a way that results in another employee bringing a successful discrimination claim can the tribunal require the first employee to pay compensation?

The employee who brings the complaint about discriminatory treatment must take his or her case against the employer (the first respondent), but may add the name of any individual whom he or she believes was personally responsible for the discrimination (the second respondent). The employee may, if appropriate, name more than one individual. Such a situation tends to occur most frequently in claims for harassment, as harassment is a very personalised form of discriminatory treatment.

If the claimant employee is successful at the tribunal hearing, the tribunal will identify an amount of compensation for the claimant that it considers to be just and equitable. In the past, tribunals have apportioned the compensation between the respondents, for example by ordering an individual employee to pay the claimant a sum of money in compensation. However, in London Borough of Hackney v Sivanandan and others [2011] IRLR 740 EAT, the Employment Appeal Tribunal held that there was no legal basis for this practice. This decision was subsequently upheld by the Court of Appeal. Therefore, where a claimant successfully brings a claim against multiple respondents, and blame for particular losses cannot be attributed to one party, the respondents will be jointly and severally liable. This means that the claimant can claim the entire amount from any respondent.