According to the Financial Times, Abbey has indicated it may well appeal against the EAT’s decision to uphold the Tribunal’s finding of race discrimination following Abbey’s dismissal of Mr Chagger ostensibly for redundancy. This is despite Abbey’s appeal being successful against the Tribunal’s over-estimated and wrongly calculated award of £2.8 million loss (Abbey National Plc & Hopkins v Chagger).
Mr Chagger is of Indian origin and had been employed by Abbey since November 2001 lastly as a Trading Risk Controller. His annual earnings (taking into account both salary and bonus) were of the order of £100,000 before tax. From mid-2004 he reported to Mr Hopkins, Head of Risk Control and Reporting. They did not get on well together. On 11 January 2006 Mr Chagger was told he was at risk of redundancy and he was dismissed on 26 January 2006. Mr Chagger brought a claim for unfair dismissal and race discrimination on the basis he had been less favourably treated on grounds of his colour. He was successful at the Employment Tribunal who on 8 November 2007 assessed his damages at £2.8 million on the assumption Mr Chagger would suffer a career long loss.
In October this year, the EAT upheld the Tribunal’s decision that Abbey was liable, but overturned the Tribunal’s assessment on compensation stating the Tribunal had made a number of errors in its calculations, including that it had failed to take into account the chances Mr Chagger would have been dismissed in any event.
Megan Murphy, Law Courts Correspondent at the Financial Times has reported that Abbey was considering a further appeal and expected to present a “strong case” on reduced compensation.