Discrimination and harassment: award for injury to feelings

A recent employment tribunal case provides a useful illustration for employers of how not to conduct an investigation into discrimination allegations. The tribunal awarded £19,500 for injury to feelings to a zero hours worker who was subjected to gender harassment. While the harassment was not of the very worst type, there were certain aggravating features which merited a high award.

The claimant was particularly vulnerable due to her young age and fragile mental health. Also, the perfunctory nature of the employer’s investigation, followed by its protracted and ultimately inadequate way of dealing with the problem, magnified the effect of the harassment on the claimant.