Discrimination claims can be made against an employer and any other individuals the claimant believes to have been responsible, typically the employer's agents or other employees.
The practice of apportioning liability to the claimant between employee and employer respondents has been quite common over many years, with the bulk of the liability typically being apportioned to the employer, often not as an assessment of responsibility but simply because the employer has the resources to meet the claim. However, the EAT in London Borough of Hackney v Sivanandan and Others has decided that the operation of this practice has been arbitrary and has no legal basis.
The EAT, looking at liability in a case where both the employer council and a charity had supplied members to a recruitment panel which had victimised the claimant, said that the proper approach is to make a "joint and several" award - the parties are each liable for the full amount and the claimant can recover the damages from either. If the individual discriminator was the primary perpetrator then the tribunal can make an apportionment as between employer and employee but this will not affect the liability to the claimant. The claimant can recover in full against the employer who would then have to claim contribution from the employee respondent.