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The telegraph reports Abdul Musa, a former postal worker has been awarded undisclosed compensation after an employment tribunal ruled he had faced discrimination. His claim was supported by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) in his claim of victimisation after he complained of racist behaviour among colleagues at a Royal Mail depot in Blackburn.
This reminds me it is a good time to review the key limits on compensation.
Whilst there is no limit on the amount of compensation tribunals can award in cases of unlawful discrimination, the rules for different types of action are different.
For example, compensation claims for unfair dismissal however are less generous and comprises:
1.       basic awards In unfair dismissal The basic award for is 30 weeks’ pay (subject to the limit on a week’s pay being £430)
2.       compensatory awards unfair dismissal cases the maximum compensation award is £72,300
3.       any additional awards
(note breach of contract cases the maximum award is £25,000).
In addition, Tribunal awards can also be increased or decreased (within the limits) if the employer or employee unreasonably failed to follow appropriate disciplinary or grievance procedures.
An employment tribunal may also increase any award made to an employee by up to 25 per cent if the employers or employee has “unreasonably” failed to comply with the Acas code ofpractice on disciplinary and grievance procedures. Note the issue about who is an employee here, for instance, are temporary staff employees, if so of whom? What about sub-contractors and even contractors who only provide their services to the employer?
Losing a claim may incur additional costs in exceptional circumstances, i.e. where the tribunal finds that one party has acted unreasonably. Such costs are limited to a maximum of £10,000 unless the tribunal stipulates that the costs order is to assessed, in which case the County Court determine the cost level and this is not limited in the same way.
Three types of costs order that can be made by the tribunal are:
1.       A cost award can be made to cover legal costs for parties who were legally represented at the time the case was heard.
2.       A preparation time award covers time spent preparing for a case for a party who isn’t legally represented.
3.       Wasted costs orders are made directly against a “paid representatives” on account of their own unreasonable conduct.  Paid includes a no-win, no-fee basis or other funded representatives.
Note too that claims made out of time (and they can be hard to determine if there are a series of incidents that result in a claim) are often stuck out (refused).
Business link provide a good overview of the awards and process.es, including appeals