March 17, 2015

10% uplift on damages did not apply to injury to feelings

In Chawla v Hewlett Packard Limited the EAT has suggested that the 10% uplift on general damages and civil claims which was established by the Court of Appeal in Simmons v Castle does not apply to injury to feelings awards in the Employment Tribunals. This uplift was introduced in April 2013 to reflect the fact that, following the Jackson reforms in the Civil Courts, Claimants would not longer be able to recover success fees and "after the event" insurance premiums from their opponents.

The EAT commented that the rationale for the uplift in the Simmons case does not apply in the Employment Tribunals, where successful Claimants usually do not recover their costs. Furthermore, Employment Tribunal claims were not included in the list of specific types of litigation dealt with in the Jackson reforms. Accordingly it held that the 10% uplift should not be applied to injury to feelings awards made in accordance with the Vento guidelines.

The EAT acknowledged that this conclusion contradicted different divisions of the EAT in other cases but it referred to a decision which has not yet been published which also concluded that the 10% uplift did not apply to Tribunal awards.

This legal update is provided for general information purposes only and should not be applied to specific circumstances without prior consultation with us.

For further details on any of the issues covered in this update please contact Gemma Ospedale, Partner in Employment on 020 7583 2222.

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