You may pride yourself in providing an inclusive workplace environment and despite your best efforts of being Employer of the year, sometimes those individuals around you, employed by you, may conduct themselves with such behaviors that are undesirable and make another Employee feel they have been treated unfavorably. Such behaviors may not occur within the office or the workplace but could occur on a works social such as the Christmas party and may present itself as banter which causes an Employee to feel devalued. If such offensive comments or conducts are made by one Employee to another and the recipient of such comments feels that they are being treated less favorable, then you as the Employer could find yourself vicariously liable for the actions of your Employees, which could lead to a claim against you under the equality act 2010 for discrimination if such comments relate to a person’s age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage or civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or beliefs, sexual orientation or sex.
Part of an Employment Tribunal claim for discrimination could include compensation for Injury to Feelings.
From the 11th September 2017 the Presidential Guidance has allowed for an increase to be made to the Injury to Feelings bands. The lower bands can increase compensation between £1,000 to £8,000, this is usually the less serious cases. There is then the middle band of £8,000 to £25,000 and an upper band for serious cases of between £25,000 and £42,000 and exceptional cases being for £42,000 plus. You should be aware that this is an increase on top of other compensatory elements which are awarded upon successful Discriminatory Claims.
Be advised that Employers have their policies in order and that your Employees are made aware of the existence of those policies. There is no point whatsoever in having a policy if there is no monitoring of that policy or indeed if there is not a clear and direct line for Employees who feel that another Employee is being discriminatory and is able to bring that awareness to the Employer for direct action to be taken.
We appreciate that Employers can find navigation through these processes and procedures daunting. It is for this reason that Dawsons Law can offer Employers a Fixed Fee for advice, a Fixed Fee for preparing policies and advising upon the implementation of those policies and monitoring thereof.
Further Dawsons Law provide a monthly retained service for Employers whereby Employers can contact Solicitors under that scheme as and when advice is required.
To find out more information please contact Salena Dawson on 01953 883535.