Is there a limit on the compensation that can be awarded in a discrimination claim?
No, there is no limit on the compensation that can be awarded in a discrimination claim. Where a claim is successful, if the employment tribunal considers it just and equitable to do so, it can order the respondent to pay compensation to the claimant of an amount corresponding to the damages that could have been ordered in the county court for a claim in tort for breach of statutory duty. The aim is to put the claimant into the position in which he or she would have been but for the unlawful discriminatory conduct. The damages awarded should cover all harm that arises directly from the act or acts of unlawful discrimination. This can include both financial loss and compensation for personal injury (physical and psychiatric) arising from unlawful discrimination, provided in the latter case that the claimant can show that the injury was directly caused by the discrimination suffered.
Damages can also include compensation for injury to feelings, regardless of whether or not the employee has suffered any direct financial loss as a result of the discrimination. The size of awards for injury to feelings varies depending on the facts of the case and the degree of hurt and distress caused to the claimant by the act of discrimination. There are currently three broad bands of injury to feelings compensation. The top band is between £18,000 and £30,000 and applies only to the most serious cases. The middle band of £6,000 to £18,000 is to be used for serious cases that do not merit an award in the highest band and the lower band of between £500 and £6,000 should be used for less serious cases, such as where the act of discrimination is an isolated occurrence.