The case of a gay employee who won an award from the
Discrimination Tribunal after other employees made offensive
comments about a Pride march outside their place of work
demonstrates that employers have to take training and processes
seriously, and that the £10,000 compensation payout applies
per individual complaint, not per overall claim, says Ogier
employment lawyer Daniel Read.
The employee won claims not just for discrimination and
harassment but also for unfair dismissal, because he was made
redundant after submitting his complaint. Because his employer had
no formal process governing redundancy, they were unable to defend
Liability for the award that he has received has been split
between two colleagues who discriminated against him –
because they made the offensive comments, and then laughed about it
when challenged - and his former employer.
Dan, who works in Ogier's Employment Law team covering the
Channel Islands, says that the case underlines the importance of
proper training, and of following proper process.
He said: "This judgment establishes that the £10,000
compensation cap applies per complaint – that means that
where a complaint spans indirect discrimination, direct
discrimination and harassment, for example, the overall
compensation cap is £30,000, not £10,000.
"That is an important point that had not previously been
"The other important point from this case, is that If the
employer had given staff proper training on discrimination or put
policies in place, then the incident that led to this claim may
never have happened.
"What's more, had the employer been able to demonstrate
that through training and policy they had taken reasonable steps to
prevent that kind of behaviour, they might not have been found
liable to pay compensation although the employees making the
comments would still have been liable."
There was also an issue about social media in the case –
tribunal was shown content from the complainant's Facebook
page. The posts were potentially relevant to the case because to
win the claim, the complainant had to demonstrate that he had
actually been offended by the remarks that were made. The content
of the posts potentially went to this point.
However, the tribunal declined to consider the Facebook posts,
citing privacy concerns – a decision that could set a
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