Prohibited conduct claims: injury to feelings and personal injury

The following Employment practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Prohibited conduct claims: injury to feelings and personal injury
  • Injury to feelings
  • Injury to feelings—general principles
  • The purpose of the award
  • Compensatory not punitive
  • Not a deterrent
  • Acts arising out of the prohibited conduct
  • Assess like personal injury awards, not defamation
  • Overlap with psychiatric damage awards
  • The bands awards should fall into (the Vento bands)
  • More...

Prohibited conduct claims: injury to feelings and personal injury

This Practice Note examines awards of compensation or damages for injury to feelings and psychiatric personal injury in discrimination and other prohibited conduct claims under the Equality Act 2010 (EqA 2010).

Injury to feelings

Damages for injury to feelings are expressly allowed by the EqA 2010. Some award for injury to feelings will almost always be made in successful claims. However, there is no obligation to make an award, and it is perfectly appropriate for a tribunal to decide not to make an award under this head where only a matter of principle is involved, or where there is a 'technical' prohibited conduct but the 'victim' did not in fact suffer any injury to their feelings.

Injury to feelings—general principles

Once a decision is made to award compensation for injury to feelings, the general principles set out below should be borne in mind.

The purpose of the award

Awards for injury to feelings are designed to compensate victims for the hurt caused by knowing that they have been treated in a way that contravenes the EqA 2010. A finding that an employee would anyway have been dismissed a few months later for reasons that did not amount to prohibited conduct would not affect the hurt caused by the actual prohibited conduct or, therefore, the amount awarded for injury to feelings.

Compensatory not punitive

The

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