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AGGRAVATED DAMAGES: Compensation for making a bad situation worse

04 May 2012  

A recent EAT case has highlighted the difficulties involved in awarding damages for aggravating conduct separately from compensation for injury to feelings, explains Sarah Gregory

In a recent case, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has given guidance on the approach that employment tribunals should take when awarding aggravated damages, emphasising that their purpose is to compensate the employee and not to punish the employer. In Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis v Shaw [2011], the EAT (Underhill J presiding) also set out a comprehensive and persuasive argument against making separate awards for injury to feelings and aggravated damages, preferring instead a single award for injury to feelings that would take aggravated factors into account. Although this case involved whistleblowing, the decision is equally applicable to awards in discrimination cases.


Additional Info

  • Case(s) Referenced:

    Alexander v Home Office [1988] ICR 685

    Broome v Cassell & Co Ltd [1972] AC 1027

    Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis v Shaw [2011] UKEAT 0125

    HM Prison Service v Salmon [2001] IRLR 425

    ICTS (UK) Ltd v Tchoula [2000] IRLR 643

    Kuddus v Chief Constable of Leicester Constabulary [2001] UKHL 29

    Martins v Choudhary [2008] 1 WLR 617

    Massey v UNIFI [2007] EWCA Civ 800

    McConnell v Police Authority for Northern Ireland [1997] IRLR 625

    Ministry of Defence v Fletcher [2010] IRLR 25V

    Ministry of Defence v Meredith [1995] IRLR 539

    Reid v British Telecommunications plc [2004] IRLR 27

    Rookes v Barnard [1964] AC 1129

    Vento v The Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police [2002] EWCA Civ 1871

    Virgo Fidelis Senior School v Boyle [2004] ICR 1210

    Zaiwalla & Co v Walia [2002] IRLR 697

Last modified on 16 July 2015