The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has held that the Employment Tribunal was entitled to make a personal injury award in respect of disability discrimination notwithstanding the absence of any medical evidence.
In Wyatt -v- Hampshire County Council, the claimant brought a claim in respect of disability discrimination and unfair dismissal, both of which arose from disabilities (i.e. dyslexia and depression).
The Tribunal ruled in Mrs Wyatt’s favour and, in relation to the discrimination, ordered an award of £15,000 for injury to feelings with a further £10,000 in respect of personal injury which stemmed from the discriminatory acts. In making the award the Tribunal classified Mrs Wyatt’s depression as moderately severe under the relevant guidelines without considering any medical evidence. The Council appealed on the basis that the awards were excessive in the absence of any medical evidence.
The EAT dismissed the appeal. In doing so, it held that whilst it was unusual for no medical evidence to be presented in this type of case, it was not absolutely required to make an award in respect of personal injury. The other evidence in this case alone had been sufficient for the Tribunal to make the award.