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How To Maximise Your Discrimination Claim - Be Conservative

Posted: Friday, 4 January 2019 @ 13:43

Currently we are representing clients engaged in suing employers within the private and public sector.

One issue that we are facing within the employment law sphere is within discrimination and the question is how high a figure you go with in presenting your Schedule Of Losses.

As many readers will know discrimination cases do not have a compensation cap(compared to Unfair Dismissal which is £80,541) and the temptation which many lawyers( and clients can have) is to maximise the claim.

This is particulalry the case if say you read in the newspaper about how say person X obtained an award for ££££. 

There is a time and place to go high in formulating claims including within discrimination but there are a series of reasons why conservatism (rather than greed) pays within the discrimination arena:

Fundamentally Employment Tribunal Judges are not used to making high awards. Despite the absence of the statutory cap, latest median compensation awards  within Employment Tribunal are  - Sex Discrimination    £13,500, Race Discrimination    £13,760, Disability Discrimination    £11,309   Age Discrimination    £8,417  Religious Discrimination    £16,174    Sexual Orientation Discrimination    £20,192.

These figures are much lower than the unfair dismissal cap.

From my experience Judges do not like inflated claims and ultimately they will respect a Claimant more if she or he is seen not to be over pushing her claim.

Often Claimants can actually do much to assist themselves by not focusing on claiming too much but by focusing on areas of losses which some lawyers are ineffective in formulating.

Within this context if negotiation happens and the other side start viewing you as a soft touch, you remain firm. 

Recently we had assistance on one case with regard to pension losses which are a neglected and complex area..

This has on the face of it looked like a fruitful exercise as we have been able to present some significant losses in a clear yet conservative way. We hope that it will less vulnerable to legal  attack from the other side and will portray the client in a good way and ultimately will be well received by the Employment Judge if we reach that point.