Employment Cases Update

Wilson Barca LLP and others v Shirin UKEAT/0276/19/BA

Date published: 12/06/2020

Appeal against the ET’s award to the Claimant for injury to feelings in respect of unlawful discrimination by way of harassment related to age and sex. Appeal allowed in part.

The Claimant, who was employed as a paralegal by the First Respondent, resigned after about six months, alleging that she had suffered a mental breakdown as a consequence of continuous bullying and harassment by the Second and Third Respondents. She brought proceedings in the ET and her claims of unlawful harassment on the grounds of age and sex succeeded on a limited basis, but her other claims of harassment and of direct discrimination were dismissed. At the remedy hearing, the ET made an award for injury to feelings in respect of the harassment, inclusive of aggravated damages and accrued interest; it also stated, in response to the Respondents' assertion that the Claimant's claims were brought out of time, that it would have been wholly inequitable to deny the Claimant any remedy or judgment on the basis that, because her dismissal claims failed as matters of discrimination law, she was out of time. The Respondents appealed, alleging that the ET erred in law (1) in its decision to extend time, (2) in making the award for injury to feelings, and (3) in awarding aggravated damages.

The EAT held that the ET had been correct to extend time, but the Respondents succeeded on the other grounds. Accordingly, the ET's award in respect of damages for injury to feelings, aggravated damages and interest would be set aside, and the issues of what award of compensation should be made for injury to feelings, and whether aggravated damages should be awarded for harassment on the basis of sex (and, if so, how much), would be remitted for redetermination by the same ET.

Read the full text of the judgment on BAILII or download the file by clicking the link below.