Lords ruling clarifies unfair dismissal law -- but employers won't get away with bullying says Croner Consulting

October 2004
Management Services;Oct2004, Vol. 48 Issue 10, p4
Academic Journal
This article deals with the ruling issued by the British House of Lords in 2004 which awarded compensation for injury for employees in unfair dismissal cases. The ruling affects the amount of compensation that can be awarded in unfair dismissal cases. Employers will still be liable to pay compensation in these cases but the decision clarifies that they are not liable for additional compensation for injury to feelings, which is difficult to assess. This is actually good news for employers because until today the law was unclear as to whether the mental effects of bullying could be interpreted as recoverable in unfair dismissal cases. This ruling clearly states that the Employment Rights Act 1996 allows tribunals to award only financial losses in unfair dismissal cases. This also provides the much needed distinction that additional compensation for injury to feelings may only be awarded when the case involves discrimination by the employer. In the absence of discrimination then it is purely an unfair dismissal claim, with no injury to feelings award possible. However, the British House of Lords decision does not mean that employers can avoid tackling the issue of bullying in the workplace.


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