Increase in awards for sexual harassment.
In the case of Majid v AA Solicitors 2016, Ms Majid had been employed for around 6 weeks by AA solicitors and was then dismissed, supposedly for redundancy, when she politely rejected advances from her employer, Mr Ali. She brought a claim for unfair dismissal and sexual harassment giving examples of Mr Ali asking her to go out to the cinema, talking about installing a bed in one of the rooms at the office, attempting to hug her, touching her arms, squeezing and rubbing her hands when shaking hands and making her feel uncomfortable by these types of act.
The Tribunal awarded her £14,000 for injury to feelings £4,000 for aggravated damages and £2,000 for financial loss. AA Solicitors appealed to the Employment Appeal Tribunal on the basis that the award was excessive. However, the Appeal Tribunal refused to reduce the award stating that awards should be increased for inflation. The calculation of awards for injury to feelings are dependent on which band of severity the Tribunal assesses the harassment falls into. There are 3 bands. These bands were set in 2002 in a case called Vento v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire in 2002.
The lowest band was £500 to £5000, a middle band of £6,000 to £15,000 and a top band for the most serious cases of £18,000 to £30,000.
It has now been confirmed that inflation should be applied and so the lowest band, for less serious cases such as a one off incident or an isolated incident, is £812 to £8,116. The middle band which the above case fell into of £8,116 to £24,348 and the highest band where there has been a lengthy campaign of harassment is now £24,348 to £48,696. It would only be in exceptional cases that an award would exceed this.