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Unsure of your equality rights or the law? We can provide advice and assistance for people who feel they have been discriminated against.
 
 

Tribunal decision, what next?

What you need to know

 
When do I find out the decision of the tribunal?

After the closing submissions, the tribunal panel will need to make their decision.  If they make their decision that day they will leave the room and inform you of their decision when they return.  If the tribunal panel take more time they will send their decision to you in writing at a later date.


The decision and remedies of the tribunal

If the tribunal finds in your favour the remedies open to it are:
 
  • to award you compensation
  • to declare your legal rights
  • to make a recommendation that reduces the effect of the discrimination on you.

The most usual remedy ordered by a tribunal is the payment of compensation.  Compensation for discrimination can be composed of 2 elements,

1. Non financial loss
2. Actual financial loss

1. Non Financial Loss

For example:
 
  • Aggravated damages – malicious, insulting or oppressive manner ;
  • Personal injury – a psychological illness caused by discrimination or harassment;
  • Injury to feelings – upset, distress and inconvenience.

You must provide evidence to the Tribunal of any loss caused to you by the discriminatory act.  In most instances compensation for aggravated damages and personal injury awards are reflected in compensation awards for injury to feelings.

Injury to feelings
Compensation for injury to feelings is assessed by reference to the ´Vento´ bands, after the leading English case in which the English Court of Appeal articulated them. 

 

What are the ‘Vento’ bands?
Injury to feeling awards from the tribunal have since 2002 been based on the ´Vento´ case (or Vento v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police (No. 2) [2003] IRLR 102CA). 

 

 

In the case of Da´Bell v NSPCC, the Court of Appeal, effective from 1st October 2009, reviewed and increased the 'Vento' figures to take account of inflation, as follows: 

Lower Band:
Less serious or isolated incident of discrimination.  £500 - £6,000

Middle Band:
Serious cases that do not merit an award in the higher limit. £6.000 - £18,000

Higher Band:
The most serious cases of discrimination or lengthy campaign. £18,000 - £30,000

Exceptional cases could still attract an award of over £30,000

 

2. Actual Financial Loss

For example:
 
  • Loss of income
  • Contractual benefits
  • Pension
  • Unpaid wages/holidays; and
  • Future loss

You must provide evidence to the Tribunal of any loss caused to you by the discriminatory act.  Compensation is provided in order to restore you to the position you would have been in had you not been discriminated against.

It is composed of:

a. losses incurred between the date of the discriminatory act and the date of the hearing; and
b. a sum for any future loss that might be incurred.

Your loss of earnings under heading (a) is the difference between the net pay you received, or would have received, and the sum you actually received calculated on a weekly basis up to the hearing.  You must also deduct from this sum any Job-seekers Allowance, or other means tested benefit received during this time.

Note:  As a general rule non means tested benefits are not deductible, for example, do not deduct any Disability Living Allowance / Personal Independence Payment received.

Your loss of earnings under heading (b) is more difficult to predict.  A tribunal will try to assess how long it will be before you will receive the same wage you received, or would have received, if you had not been discriminated against.
 

Understanding the tribunal's decision

When you get the tribunal's decision about your claim, you may want to talk to the tribunal panel and ask them to explain anything you don't understand. 

If you've won, the tribunal might take a break to allow you and the Respondent to try to agree a settlement.  It can be good for both sides to agree a settlement, even at this stage.  For example, you might be able to use the fact that you've won to get the Respondent to agree to give you a reference, as well as some money.

But if you can't reach a settlement, you can go back to the tribunal for them to make the compensation award.  This might happen on the same day as your hearing, or it might be a separate hearing.

What happens next?

If the tribunal decides you should get compensation, they will do the sums and make an order for how much the Respondent should pay you, and when this should be paid by.  Hopefully, this will be the end of the case and the Respondent will send you a cheque.

However, it’s possible that the Respondent will apply for either a review of the decision or make an appeal.  This means that they might ask for the tribunal to look at their decision again, or for the case to be looked at by a higher court the Court of Appeal, if this happens, it might take a long time for the case to be finished.

Cases that go to the Court of Appeal can get very complicated and involve difficult legal arguments.  If you're in this situation, you should try to get advice.
 

Can I appeal if I lose my discrimination claim?

Yes you can appeal if you lose your discrimination claim and there are two options open to you:

1. request a review of the decision by the tribunal; or 
2. appeal, on a point of law only, to the Court of Appeal

You must lodge an application for a review within 14 days of the decision.  If appealing you must put in your appeal within 42 days of the date the written reasons for the judgment were sent out.

1. Review by the tribunal
You can also require the Tribunal to review its decision, provided you ask it to do so within 14 days of that decision.  This is a form of internal review.  However, such a review can only be carried out on certain grounds and you cannot secure a review simply because you are unhappy with it.  This form of review has been discussed previously in the section explaining a review hearing.

2. Appeal to the Court of Appeal
If you consider that the tribunal misapplied the law, or otherwise incorrectly interpreted the law you may lodge an appeal to the Court of Appeal, for example: you can appeal on a point of law only.

An appeal is a legally complex matter and you benefit from expert help.  It is also likely to be expensive but legal aid is available should you meet the qualifying criteria.
 

What can I do if the Tribunal awards me compensation and the Respondent does not pay me the money?

You can enforce the award by making an application to the Enforcement of Judgements Office (EJO).

Firstly, you need to obtain 2 certified copies of the Tribunal decision to send to the EJO.  You can obtain these certified copies by writing to the Secretary of the Tribunal and asking them to send you 2 certified copies of the Tribunal decision. There is no fee for seeking these copies.

Once you receive the 2 certified copies from the Tribunal you need to contact the EJO and complete the necessary forms.
 

Contact:

The Enforcements of Judgements Office
7th Floor Bedford House
16-22 Bedford Street
Belfast  BT2 7FD
Tel: 028 9024 5081
Fax: 028 9031 3520
www.courtsni.gov.uk

 
 
 
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