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Vento bands increase announced

The Presidents of the Employment Tribunals in England & Wales and Scotland have issued new guidance updating the bands of awards for “injury to feelings”, in the event that employees suffer from discrimination in the workplace.

The compensation available for injury to feelings is divided into four categories, depending on the seriousness of the discrimination that occurred, known as the Vento bands. The increased Vento bands, which will be effective for any claims issued on or after 6 April 2018, will be as follows: £900 to £8,600 for less serious cases (the lower band), £8,600 to £25,700 for serious cases (the middle band) and £25,700 to £42,900 for the most serious cases (the upper band). Compensation over £42,900 can be awarded by the Employment Tribunal in exceptional cases.

This increase should act as a reminder for employers to make sure that they are taking all reasonable steps to prevent discrimination in the workplace, including implementing up-to-date equal opportunities and anti-bullying and harassment policies, and carrying out regular diversity training.

Vento bands increase announced

President of the Employment Tribunals announces increase in the Vento Bands

Following a recent consultation, the President of the Employment Tribunals has announced a rise in the compensation that employees can recover for 'injury to feelings', in the event that they suffer from discrimination in the workplace.
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President of the Employment Tribunals announces increase in the Vento Bands

Be careful when quoting from the Bible …

In the recent decision of Trayhorn v. The Secretary of State for Justice the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) held that a prison had not indirectly discriminated against a chaplain who was disciplined for quoting Bible passages condemning homosexuality.
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Be careful when quoting from the Bible …

Suspension for alleged misconduct may be a breach of contract

In the recent case of Agoreyo v. London Borough of Lambeth [2017] EWHC 2019 (QB), the High Court has held that suspension as a "knee-jerk" reaction to an allegation of misconduct may in itself be sufficient to breach the implied contractual term of trust and confidence.
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Suspension for alleged misconduct may be a breach of contract

Dr Eva Carneiro – happy ever after in the “tale of two employees”?

Dr Eva Carneiro, the former Chelsea first team doctor, who brought employment tribunal claims of constructive dismissal and sex discrimination against Chelsea and Jose Mourinho (respectively), is understood to have settled her claims for a confidential sum.

The claims settled on day two of the two-week trial, a day on which Dr Carneiro was due to give evidence. In opening submissions given on the first day of the hearing, Chelsea sought to portray Dr Carneiro as publicity hungry, self promoting and money grabbing. It highlighted that Dr Carneiro had already rejected an offer of £1.2 million to settle her claims. It also said that she could not expect to achieve those sums even if she was successful at tribunal. In their opening submissions, Dr Carneiro’s legal team told the tale of the “good employee” who was forced out of “the job of her dreams”, berated, sexually harassed and demoted, by the “bad employee”. They also placed blame firmly with Chelsea, who they said confirmed Dr Carneiro’s demotion and told her to “build bridges” with Mourinho, rather than looking into Mourinho’s conduct.

To succeed with a constructive dismissal claim Dr Carneiro would have needed to show a fundamental breach of her employment contract entitling her to resign and treat herself as dismissed. As well as focusing on the acts and omissions of Chelsea as her employer, Dr Carneiro’s legal team would have undoubtedly argued that Chelsea should have been held vicariously responsible for the acts of Jose Mourinho. These may have included Dr Carneiro’s well publicised allegations that Jose Mourinho called her a “daughter of a whore” in Portuguese.

In support of her claims of sex discrimination and harassment (and in addition to the above statement allegedly made by Jose Mourinho), Dr Carneiro was said to have been relying on a series of “sexist and derogatory” emails and text messages between Jose Mourinho and his backroom staff.

The cap on compensatory awards in unfair dismissal claims is currently £78,962 or 52 weeks’ pay if this is lower. While discrimination complaints are not capped, Dr Carneiro may have recovered more under the terms of a settlement than she would have been awarded at tribunal, had she succeeded with her claims.

Dr Carneiro is said to be relieved that she can now move forward with her life. No doubt Chelsea and Jose Mourinho (who was due to give evidence next week) are also feeling some sense of relief, if only about avoiding further bad press which has surrounded the case.

Dr Eva Carneiro – happy ever after in the “tale of two employees”?

Bored out of job

A Frenchman has hit the headlines for taking his former employer, Interparfums, to court after having an existential crisis because his job is too boring. Is this a joke? Non.

The term “burn out”, when employees collapse due to overwork and stress, is well known. However, this individual has accused his employer of something much worse – being bored. Or as the French press are calling it, “bore out”.

The claimant states that working for his employer was “a descent into hell” as he was given so little to do that he suffered from critical depression and became ashamed of being paid for doing nothing. Many people would say, “c’est bien” to being paid for doing minimal work. However, this individual has brought a claim for constructive dismissal and is seeking £282,000 in compensation and damages for suffering the insipidness of mind-numbingly dull tasks over a four-year period.

The main legal argument being pursued by the claimant’s lawyers is that he was intentionally side lined so that he would have no chance of promotion and become so bored that they could fire him without redundancy payments or any other compensation.

In the UK, to succeed with a claim for constructive dismissal, the employee must show that they were entitled to resign by virtue of an employer’s conduct. Essentially, there has got to be a repudiatory breach of contract on the part of the employer which is sufficiently serious to justify the employee resigning. Whether the French courts will sympathise with the claimant’s case, who knows, à suivre!

Bored out of job