Payments in cases of sex bias at work rise sevenfold: Average award is now almost pounds 22,000

VICTIMS of sex discrimination at work are now winning an average of almost pounds 22,000 in compensation - seven times awards being made before European law lifted the ceiling on payments a year ago.

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.

News
The current recommendation from Britain's Chief Medical Officer, is that people refrain from drinking on at least two days a week
food + drinkTheory is that hangovers are caused by methanol poisoning
News
scienceExcitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
Life and Style
Customers can get their caffeine fix on the move
food + drink
News
newsRyan Crighton goes in search of the capo dei capi
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Extras
indybest

Arts and Entertainment
Actors front row from left, Jared Leto, Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep, Ellen DeGeneres, Bradley Cooper, Peter Nyongío Jr., and, second row, from left, Channing Tatum, Julia Roberts, Kevin Spacey, Brad Pitt, Lupita Nyongío and Angelina Jolie as they pose for a
film
Sport
sport
Life and Style
techCould new invention save millions in healthcare bills?
Sport
David Moyes gets soaked
sport Moyes becomes latest manager to take part in the ALS challenge
Voices
A meteor streaks across the sky during the Perseid Meteor Shower at a wind farm near Bogdanci, south of Skopje, Macedonia, in the early hours of 13 August
voicesHagel and Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise, says Robert Fisk
News
peopleEnglishman managed quintessential Hollywood restaurant Chasen's
Life and Style
food + drinkHarrods launches gourmet food qualification for staff
Arts and Entertainment
Michael Flatley prepares to bid farewell to the West End stage
danceMichael Flatley hits West End for last time alongside Team GB World champion Alice Upcott
Life and Style
Horst P Horst mid-fashion shoot in New York, 1949
fashionFar-reaching retrospective to celebrate Horst P Horst's six decades of creativity
News
Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
i100
Life and Style
Black Ivory Coffee is made using beans plucked from elephants' waste after ingested by the animals
food + drinkFirm says it has created the "rarest" coffee in the world
Life and Style
news

As Voltaire once said, “Ice cream is exquisite. What a pity it isn’t illegal”

Life and Style
food + drinkThese simple recipes will have you refreshed within minutes
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Market Administrator (1st line Support, Bloomberg, Broker)

Negotiable: Harrington Starr: Market Administrator (1st line Support, Trade Fl...

Service Desk Analyst (Windows, Active Directory, ITIL, Reuter)

£35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Service Desk Analyst (Windows, Active Dire...

Data Support Analyst (Linux, Solaris, Windows Server, Reuters)

Negotiable: Harrington Starr: Data Support Analyst (Linux, Solaris, Windows Se...

Helpdesk Support Engineer (Windows, MS Office, Exchange)

Negotiable: Harrington Starr: Helpdesk Support Engineer (Windows, MS Office, E...

Day In a Page

All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Robert Fisk: All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Chuck Hagel and Martin Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise
Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

So claims an EU report which points to the Italian Mob’s alleged grip on everything from public works to property
Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Once the poor relation, the awards show now has the top stars and boasts the best drama
What happens to African migrants once they land in Italy during the summer?

What happens to migrants once they land in Italy?

Memphis Barker follows their trail through southern Europe
French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

The ugly causeway is being dismantled, an elegant connection erected in its place. So everyone’s happy, right?
Frank Mugisha: Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked

Frank Mugisha: 'Coming out was a gradual process '

Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked
Radio 1 to hire 'YouTube-famous' vloggers to broadcast online

Radio 1’s new top ten

The ‘vloggers’ signed up to find twentysomething audience
David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

A blistering attack on US influence on British television has lifted the savvy head of Channel 4 out of the shadows
Florence Knight's perfect picnic: Make the most of summer's last Bank Holiday weekend

Florence Knight's perfect picnic

Polpetto's head chef shares her favourite recipes from Iced Earl Grey tea to baked peaches, mascarpone & brown sugar meringues...
Horst P Horst: The fashion photography genius who inspired Madonna comes to the V&A

Horst P Horst comes to the V&A

The London's museum has delved into its archives to stage a far-reaching retrospective celebrating the photographer's six decades of creativity
Mark Hix recipes: Try our chef's summery soups for a real seasonal refresher

Mark Hix's summery soups

Soup isn’t just about comforting broths and steaming hot bowls...
Tim Sherwood column: 'It started as a three-horse race but turned into the Grand National'

Tim Sherwood column

I would have taken the Crystal Palace job if I’d been offered it soon after my interview... but the whole process dragged on so I had to pull out
Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard admits he is still below the level of Ronaldo and Messi but, after a breakthrough season, is ready to thrill Chelsea’s fans
Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

The Everton and US goalkeeper was such a star at the World Cup that the President phoned to congratulate him... not that he knows what the fuss is all about
Match of the Day at 50: Show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition

Tom Peck on Match of the Day at 50

The show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition