Payments in cases of sex bias at work rise sevenfold: Average award is now almost pounds 22,000
Wednesday 14 September 1994
Last year, for the first time, compensation in discrimination cases passed the million-pound barrier. Even if the recent high- profile, high-award cases involving pregnant servicewomen sacked by the Ministry of Defence, are excluded the increase remains sharp. The average award by industrial tribunals of non-MoD cases, which made up about one-third of the 241 cases brought since 1993, has increased by about 45 per cent.
The study by the Equal Opportunities Review concludes that record increases - some women have been awarded more than pounds 400,000 - means employers cannot ignore equal opportunities.
Yesterday, Gary Bowker, its author, said: 'There is now a clear financial incentive for employers to take equal treatment seriously and import the principles of equality law into their decisions.'
The report concludes: 'The removal of the compensation cap and the awarding of interest will have a significant impact on the size of compensation awards for unlawful discrimination.'
Until the beginning of last year industrial tribunals were limited to a maximum payment of pounds 11,000 to anyone who could prove that he or she had been illegally discriminated against. But following a test case in the European courts, the ceiling was lifted. Until then the average tribunal award was a little over pounds 3,000.
There had long been calls for a change in law and practice, which many thought left women in particular barely compensated for loss of jobs or career opportunities.
The flood of servicewomen's claims, which have distorted the figures, arise from an earlier European Court ruling in 1990 that the policy operated by the MoD of dismissing servicewomen in their 16th week of pregnancy had been illegal since 1978.
However, the large number of high awards to service personnel, which have already cost the MoD more than pounds 17m and threaten to cost tens of millions more, are likely to be moderated in the light of an Employment Appeal Tribunal ruling, which stated that some of the higher awards had been 'manifestly excessive' and out of proportion to the wrong done to the women, and set out new guidelines for tribunals.
The first example of this came last week when a former army lieutenant, claiming pounds 78,000 for dismissal after she became pregnant, was awarded only pounds 6,537. According to the study, until now MoD case awards have averaged about pounds 35,478.
The review, which also looked at incidents of racial discrimination, found that compensation for injury to feelings, particularly in racial harassment cases, had increased with average awards up by 42 per cent to nearly pounds 2,000.
Taking the Cap Off Discrimination Awards; Equal Opportunities Review, 18-20 Highbury Place, London N5 1QP; pounds 145 by subscription.
As Voltaire once said, “Ice cream is exquisite. What a pity it isn’t illegal”
- 1 'Alien thigh bone' on Mars: Excitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
- 2 Mother fed her daughter tapeworms to make her skinny for pageant
- 3 Crystal Palace next manager latest: Palace consider Ally McCoist - EXCLUSIVE
- 5 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
'Alien thigh bone' on Mars: Excitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
West poised to join forces with President Assad in face of Islamic State
Pamela Anderson rejects ice bucket challenge because of ALS experiments on animals: 'Mice had holes drilled into their skulls'
James Foley 'beheaded': Isis video shows militant with British accent 'execute US journalist' – as hunt begins for killer
ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Disgusting, frustrating, but intriguing: how the country really feels about its politicians
Bin bag full of cats' heads discovered near Manchester's Curry Mile
Negotiable: Harrington Starr: Market Administrator (1st line Support, Trade Fl...
£35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Service Desk Analyst (Windows, Active Dire...
Negotiable: Harrington Starr: Data Support Analyst (Linux, Solaris, Windows Se...
Negotiable: Harrington Starr: Helpdesk Support Engineer (Windows, MS Office, E...