Compensation Payable Where Discrimination is Unknown

Mon, 19 Jul 2010

In Taylor v XLN Telecom Ltd [2010] IRLR 499 the EAT rules that in a discrimination claim a claimant is entitled to recover compensation for any injury to feelings and psychiatric injury attributable to the discriminatory act irrespective of whether or not the Claimant was aware of the discriminatory motivation of the employer. In so holding the EAT concludes that the Employment Tribunal had misinterpreted comments made by Lord Justice Lawton in Coleman v Skyrail Oceanic that an award for injury to feelings “must arise from that knowledge that it was an act…of discrimination”. The EAT observes that it would be surprising if different rules govern the recoverability for compensation for injury to feelings and injury to health, particularly as they often overlap. In what might appear to be a rather generous interpretation, the EAT suggests that the Court of Appeal’s comments when “read in context” were simply stating that the award could not include compensation for injury which was unrelated to a discriminatory act but the EAT’s approach is clearly consistent with the Court of Appeal’s ruling in Essa v Laing Ltd [2004] IRLR 313.

Summary by Anthony Korn

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