I recently was loaned the employment law cuttings of the Institute of Race Relations (IRR) for the period from Jan 2009 – Feb 2011. Going through them, I thought it might be interesting to list just about every case in them, by the value of the total award.
Amounts of award
(Listed by total amount, not re-adjusted for inflation)
£140,000 at Ashford ET (£81,740 for “racial + other discrimination”, but prob UD, and £25,473 for “PI”, but prob Vento), including being referred to by colleagues speaking of “bloody foreigners” and having her accent taped, played back and mocked
Daily Mail, 21 March 2011
£115,000 (not broken down) for senior nurse who asked after promotion and was told she was the “wrong colour and wrong culture”
BBC News, 19 January 2010
£111,169 (not broken down) after manager told she did not fit in, was forced to eat on her own, denied holidays, and given extra duties because of race
Telegraph, 6 April 2009
£65,000 (including psychiatric injury, future loss of earnings and lost pension rights) after senior black immigration worker was selected for redundancy and white workers were not selected
Workplacelaw.net, 8 June 2009
£53,596 (not broken down) after supervisor told him “The Serbs were just right to rape your women and children” and “See that Croatian fella, he left his wife and 18 kids and came here on the back of a lorry”, and took his name off time sheets
BBC News, 23 April 2010
£36,000 (not broken down) after manager told her “You are only a nigger, what do you know?” and company tried to resolve her discrimination grievance by offering a 15p per hour pay rise
Personnel Today, 14 December 2009
£22,000 (£18,500 plus aggravated and interest) after Navy officer was introduced to colleagues as “Andy, aka Robert Mugabe”, “Vote Mugabe” stickers were placed on walls, and he was punched by an officer
Bexley Times, 13 January 2010
£13,000 (not broken down) after firm boss called dish washer “stinking” in front of other customers
Belfast Telegraph, 28 June 2010
£7,000 (not broken down) after business owner told customer, “Don’t you think she stinks? It must be in the blood, ‘cos them foreigners eat all sorts of crap”
Belfast Telegraph, 7 July 2010
£6,570 for injury to feelings after fellow worker told her “Why don’t you go back home? Don’t you have supermarkets in Spain”
Denbighshire Visitor, 22 January 2009
£4,000 for injury to feelings after teacher was subject to racist bullying by pupils
Lancashire Telegraph, 25 March 2009
As will be obvious to any lawyers reading this, the above list should be read with considerable, caution. Generally, what is reported is the size of the total award not the breakdown of the award between Vento and non-Vento damages (which is, of course, what would be most interesting to lawyers), moreover, as in the award at the top of the list, when journalists start describing an ET award as being for “personal injury”, you can infer that they have the essentials of the story wrong.
There is also the standard problem of how cases get selected or self-selected for press coverage. It will be noted for example that the above are almost all in advance of the median award for race discrimination which in 2010-2011 was £6,277.
Thanks to the IRR for the cuttings.