[Thanks to Kathleen Donnelly of Henderson Chambers for preparing this case summary]
The Court of Appeal has handed down its decision in Chaggers v Abbey National, which is authority for the following propositions:
- in a discriminatory dismissal case, it is proper for a tribunal to reduce compensation to reflect the chance that the claimant would have been dismissed lawfully in any event.
- the dismissing employer remains liable for 'stigma loss', if other employers are unwilling to offer employment because the claimant has previously brought proceedings. This will usually feature in the normal loss of earnings calculation of how long it will be before another job can be found. But in exceptional cases, stigma loss might form the only head of future loss, e.g. where the claimant would definitely have been dismissed in any event. In such cases, an employment tribunal might make an award of future loss for a specific period attributable to the stigma, or a modest lump sum might be more appropriate (similar to a Smith v Manchester award in personal injury cases).
- the level of compensation is in itself capable of being an exceptional circumstance within s31(4) EA 2002 entitling an employment tribunal to reduce the uplift below what would otherwise be the minimum of 10%.
[Thanks also to John Bowers QC of Littleton Chambers, who represented the employee, for telling me about the case]