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Those big sums awarded (very occasionally) to women for sex discrimination for example

(21 Posts)
LeninGrad Wed 17-Jun-09 11:04:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

titchy Wed 17-Jun-09 11:17:51

Generally they are VERY high fliers, capable of earning £1m+ plus mega-bonuses had they not been discriminated against. Very occassionally they might be awarded a sum for lifetime loss of earnings (the normal is 6 mnths) if they can prove they can never again get a job with such a high salary.

titchy Wed 17-Jun-09 11:18:22

Oh and I guess a shit-hot lawyer helps!

tigerdriver Wed 17-Jun-09 11:21:59

yep, it's loss of serious earnings, generally. Most claims have nothing like this value particularly if the employee will get other work relatively quickly. other discrim claims can be high too, particularly disability if the employee will struggle to find other work, and I'd expect to see some stonking age claims, although most will settle I guess.

deepinlaundry Wed 17-Jun-09 11:23:54

I think you go through civil courts rather than et for high value cases- also can claim legal costs more easily through this route.

LeninGrad Wed 17-Jun-09 11:26:01

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tigerdriver Wed 17-Jun-09 11:26:24

civil courts for breach of contract, yes. not discrim though, that is et.

what we never know about of course are all the claims that go nowhere near a tribunal because they settle. These big claims stand out but there are some big settlements too.

LeninGrad Wed 17-Jun-09 11:27:32

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LeninGrad Wed 17-Jun-09 11:28:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

tigerdriver Wed 17-Jun-09 11:44:10

It would depend on the circs - these high value cases have all sorts of triggers.

A typical civil court claim would be where a bonus which is due hasn't been paid. You can bring breach of contract claims in the ET but only for £25k or less, so if the contract claim is worth more than that, the case would be best brought before the civil courts. Some of the claims could be brought in the ET as deduction from wages but again depends on the circs. Plus there are other issues like the enforceability of restrictive covenants which are dealt with in the civil courts. And there is a better chance of getting costs (or indeed of being made to pay your opponent's costs) in the civil courts. So in the end it all depends.

LeninGrad Wed 17-Jun-09 11:55:28

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

tigerdriver Wed 17-Jun-09 12:11:41

lenin, I'll come back later with an example.

RibenaBerry Wed 17-Jun-09 13:01:57

If you go to civil court for loss of a bonus, you may or may not have resigned at that point. There are a few possibilities:

- you are still in post and just claiming for the bonus;
- you have been dismissed, say for redundancy. In this case you might be bringing an unfair dismissal case for loss of earnings through the tribunal and a direct civil claim for the bonus through the courts;
- you might have resigned over the bonus. In this case you might be bringing a constructive dismissal case in the tribunal (constructive dismissal is just unfair dismissal when you were forced to walk out rather than sacked, so all the same compensation principles apply) and claiming for the bonus in the high court.

The reason for the bonus being claimed separately is, as Tiger says, that contract claims are capped in the tribunals.

In terms of £1million + claims, it tends to break down like this:

- something for injury to feelings (usually about £5k, but can go up to aout £25k where the physcological injury is severe);
- loss of earnings until a new job can be found. As others have said, this can sometimes be for the lifetime of the individual if, for example, stigma or their mental health means that they won't work again. In a normal case, it's about six months;
- unpaid bonuses which were due, etc (see above);
- notice period (if not already paid);and
- loss of final salary pension scheme if the person was in one. Since v. few are open to new members now, this can be valuable.

Since most claims are capped around £65k,it is the discrimination cases you tend to see in the news.

Must go, screaming child...

tigerdriver Wed 17-Jun-09 13:16:05

what Ribena said, no need for me to give example now.

RibenaBerry Wed 17-Jun-09 13:25:00

Sorry, just realised that you said you'd be back. Didn't mean to hijack your thread!

tigerdriver Wed 17-Jun-09 13:26:21

Hijack away - you've saved me some thinking!

LeninGrad Wed 17-Jun-09 13:26:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

tigerdriver Wed 17-Jun-09 13:32:29

No sex discrim is heard in ET, including group claims (as are equal pay claims). Loss of earnings (eg future massive bonuses and as Ribena says pension loss) could be part of the damages for loss of earnings. If they are in a final salary scheme for example, and won't get back in one, the pension loss calculation can be huge. In a normal unfair dismissal case that's usually academic because of the cap on damages (£66,200 atm) but if there's a discrimination claim, loss of future pension can be a big element.

It would only be breach of contract that you'd take to the civil courts. Or you could be sued in the civil courts if you were in breach of your restrictive covenants, or even if you breached your employment contract and that breach cost your employer ££££ (very rare but with these very high earners, it's possible).

RibenaBerry Wed 17-Jun-09 13:36:57

Civil court is for breach of contract and the other things Tiger listed. Unfair and constructive dismissal cases are always in the Tribunal.

Sex discrimination is heard in the tribunals and it isn't normally a claim on its own. It is normally:

- you fired me, and that was sex discrimination. In that case, the claim is for unfair dismissal but the reason you are saying it is unfair is the discrimination; or

- the way you treated me forced me to resign, and that treatment was discriminatory (same thing, but with constructive dismissal).

Sometimes women stay in post and claim sex discrimination - e.g. for lack of a promotion. Again, it's a tribunal claim.

There isn't really normally such a thing as group claims in UK law - although some of the equal pay cases are effectively on that basis because they all get 'joined' into a single hearing.

LeninGrad Wed 17-Jun-09 13:40:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

abcmum Wed 17-Jun-09 18:23:53

I got £10000.00 Injury to feelings for SD and the rest was loss of earnings etc. Total £22500. It was never about the money tho - principle!! I would have gone for a win even if the award was £100. An SD claim loss to them is worth far more in loss of business esp for Gvt tenders etc!

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