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Archive

Discrimination

Counting the cost – compensation

Posted on: June 2nd, 2021 by Ginny Hallam

While a recent award of over £2.5 million for disability discrimination is an exception, the decision demonstrates the potential scope and costs of unlimited compensation available in respect of discrimination claims.

Here’s how the costs can add up:

Losses up to the hearing – claimants are entitled to any losses they’ve incurred leading up to the tribunal hearing. These include any benefits, bonuses or pension contributions associated with their role (on top of their salary). Compensation for these losses is uncapped.

Future losses – the Tribunal must determine the point at which the claimant is able to find an equivalent role to the one they had or would have held, before the discriminatory dismissal. Many factors will be at play here including the age of the claimant, detriment on their career, and the prevailing job and salary market (to name a few). Again uncapped – the cost can soon mount up.

Injury to feelings – known as ‘Vento Bands’, awards for injury to feelings are set out in three levels depending on severity. The upper band ranges from £27,400 to £45,600 for the most serious of cases, but Tribunals have the discretion to make awards in excess of the upper limit (in exceptional circumstances).

It pays to be aware and train employees regularly to minimise the possibility of claims arising. Our sessions are engaging, interactive and practical ensuring attendees can put their learning into action. Get in touch to find out what our sessions cover.

 

This update is accurate on the date it was sent (2 June 2021), but may be subject to change which may or may not be notified to you. This update is not to be taken as advice and you should seek advice if anything contained within affects you or your business.

Discrimination that falls below the radar

Posted on: May 26th, 2021 by Ginny Hallam

Creating a respectful culture not only makes good business sense but also reduces the likelihood of claims.  It isn’t always easy to spot unlawful discrimination – here are some of the key claims that might fall under the radar:

Harassment – even one-off comments or jokes that relate to protected characteristics are enough to amount to harassment if they affect an individual’s dignity. Mimicking in jest the accent of a particular ethnic group is enough for a successful claim.

Indirect discrimination – even well-meaning policy decisions that put at a disadvantage those with a certain protected characteristic can amount to indirect discrimination. By way of example, failure to update employees on maternity leave about work-related events is enough to amount to a successful claim.

Failure to make reasonable adjustments – if you suspect that an individual is struggling with an element of their work because they’re disabled, you need to make reasonable adjustments to help to reduce or eradicate that disadvantage.

If you fail to spot these possible claims, unlimited compensation can be awarded. It pays to be aware and train employees regularly. 

In our next update, we’ll share our insights into compensation trends in respect of discrimination claims. 

 

This update is accurate on the date it was sent (26 May 2021), but may be subject to change which may or may not be notified to you. This update is not to be taken as advice and you should seek advice if anything contained within affects you or your business.

Supporting managers with conflict competence

Posted on: May 19th, 2021 by Ginny Hallam

Divisive disagreements can cause conflict and create potential legal risk. Workplace conflicts are estimated to cost UK employers £28.5 billion a year (over £1000 per employee!).

Resignations, reputation, and potential claims are all costs associated with workplace conflict. Equipping managers to create a positive and inclusive environment isn’t just the right thing to do, it makes good business sense. Here are our thoughts:

Invest in manager learning – ‘accidental managers’ often miss out on training to develop their skills to nip issues in the bud and drive a positive culture. Click here to find out more about our training solutions.

Consider coaching – some managers have a fear of being ‘found out’. With the support of coaching ideas can be discussed, experiences shared, and managers empowered to have the right conversations. Click here to find out more from our coaching partners.

Create confidence – as ever, user-friendly, straight-talking processes for dealing with conflict are invaluable. Focus particularly on informal resolution to support managers to nip issues in the bud. Find out how we can support.

Get in touch to discuss how we can support you to equip your managers with a proactive approach to workplace conflict and creating an inclusive working environment. See our last update on why equality, diversity and inclusion training needs to be refreshed regularly.

 

This update is accurate on the date it was sent (19 May 2021), but may be subject to change which may or may not be notified to you. This update is not to be taken as advice and you should seek advice if anything contained within affects you or your business.

Better disagreements – creating a space to challenge positively

Posted on: May 11th, 2021 by Ginny Hallam

Whether it’s online, in person, or anonymous – rarely has there been a time where opinions have been expressed so candidly. So how do managers encourage better disagreements alongside a space where it’s OK for colleagues to keep their opinion to themselves (if that’s what they choose)?

Bad disagreements push people apart and create legal risk (including compensation). Here are our thoughts on encouraging healthy debate:

Understand your audience – disagreeing well takes intelligence and understanding – encourage individuals to broaden outlooks and consider different views and backgrounds.

Base discussion on fact, not judgment – stick to the ‘knowns’ and avoid value-based judgments about others.

Avoid loaded language – no one likes to be put into a ‘category’ – generalised terms can be inflammatory and unhelpful.

Have a clear mechanism to raise issues – whether it’s a grievance policy or informal resolution process, be ready with an appropriate process.

Consider a code – can you agree to disagree well and create a code within which to do so?

If you’d like support with equality, diversity, and inclusion training please get in touch here for more detail about our sessions. See our last update on why this training is refreshed regularly. 

 

This update is accurate on the date it was sent (11 May 2021), but may be subject to change which may or may not be notified to you. This update is not to be taken as advice and you should seek advice if anything contained within affects you or your business.

Importance of regular training – equality, diversity and inclusion

Posted on: May 5th, 2021 by Ginny Hallam

‘Stale, ineffective, brief and superficial’ – words used by an Employment Appeal Tribunal in a recent decision to describe bullying and harassment training delivered to employees. As a result, the employer was not able to successfully argue they had taken ‘reasonable steps’ to prevent racial harassment.

Key learnings:

Timing – the training had been delivered 14 months before the incidents in question and was therefore ‘stale’. Ensure that regular equality, diversity, and inclusion training and refreshers are in place.

Quality – in this case only one training slide referred to harassment which is ineffective in creating long-lasting impact – be clear on training aims and measures of success. Keep a record.

Delivery – equality, diversity, and inclusion training should be delivered ‘forcefully’ and thoroughly in order to have the desired long term impact on employees’ behaviour. Consider building in face-to-face training as well as online support for rounded and robust training.

We can support you to put in place a regular routine of equality, diversity and inclusion training tailored to your business. Our sessions are engaging, interactive and practical ensuring attendees can put their learning into action. Get in touch to find out what our sessions cover.

 

This update is accurate on the date it was sent (5 May 2021), but may be subject to change which may or may not be notified to you. This update is not to be taken as advice and you should seek advice if anything contained within affects you or your business.