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No reduction for two compensatory awards

Gateley Legal

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This article looks at the case of Dafiaghor-Olomu v Community Integrated Care and how a mistake in the Employment Tribunal may have seemed harsh in respect on the employer.

Issue

Mistakes are made even by an Employment Tribunal fortunately those errors may be corrected either through an application for reconsideration or an appeal.

The issue that had to be considered in the case of Dafiaghor- Olomu v Community Integrated Care was how a second compensatory award following a re-hearing might have to take into account the sums of money already paid by the employer in respect of the compensatory award made at the first hearing.

Facts

In reconsidering the case the Employment Tribunal decided that the original compensatory award that had been made was deficient and increased it to £128,961.59. The employer had already paid £46,153.55 being the amount of the compensatory award made at the first hearing. The employer was ordered to pay the maximum compensatory award which was at the time £74,200. The employer appealed on the grounds the sum already paid should be deducted from the compensation.

Decision

The Employment Rights Act 1996 provides that the compensatory award should be “just and equitable” having regard to the circumstances and should take into account any payment made to the complainant in respect of the matter. However the sum paid would be taken into account prior to the statutory cap. The £46,153.55 paid reduced the £128,961.59 award to £82,808.04. It was only at this point that the statutory cap of £74,200 was applied.

Key points

The decision may seem harsh in respect of the employer which has in paying the award prior to it being finalised missed out on the opportunity to be given credit for it.  It highlights that when a case is remitted back the appropriate compensatory award may be recalculated. On the other hand the claimant will point to the fact that it is just and equitable for as much of the total compensation to be awarded as possible and the statutory cap will mean it still falls short of the full losses.

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