The Employment Appeal Tribunal has reiterated that a discrimination hurt to feelings award must be based on the feelings of the person who suffered discrimination and not on an employment judge’s disapproval of the conduct in question.
A hurt to feelings award is split into three bands:
- the most serious form of hurt - between £19,800 and £33,000
- less serious hurt - between £6,600 and £19,800
- the lower end - between £660 and £6,600
The award is compensatory and not punitive. In the case of the Cadogan Hotel Partners Limited v Ozog (UKEAT/001/14), Jon Heuvel and Sophie Roberts of this firm succeeded in reducing a hurt to feelings award. The employee had stated that she had not been particularly traumatised by incidents of sexual harassment and the tribunal found that she had been made to feel 'uncomfortable' and 'very uncomfortable'. The employment tribunal judge gave a middle band hurt to feelings award of £10,000. The Employment Appeal Tribunal held that the judge had wrongly relied on her own disapproval of the sexual harassment in doing so. Where the employee herself had stated that she had not particularly suffered, the correct band should have been the lower one.