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Employers face discrimination fine

Employers face discrimination fine

Employers will face an extra financial penalty if they are found to have discriminated against an employee under new Government plans to tackle workplace disputes.

The measure would see companies which are found to have infringed an individual's rights by an Employment Tribunal (ET) fined 50% on top of any payout.

Critics have accused the Government of "burying" the proposal, which is included in its workplace dispute consultation document but has not been mentioned further by the Government, unlike other measures it has chosen to highlight.

The fine, which would be paid to the Exchequer rather than the claimant, will range from a minimum of £100 to a maximum of £5,000 and will be applied automatically.

In 2009/10, median awards ranged from £4,903 for unfair dismissal; £5,392 for race discrimination; £6,275 for sex discrimination; £8,553 for disability discrimination; £5,000 for both religious and sexual orientation discrimination; and £5,868 for age discrimination, according to Tribunals Service figures.

The consultation document states: "While we recognise that business will be opposed to such a proposal, we take the view that it will encourage employers to have greater regard to what is required of them in law and, ultimately, will lead to fewer workplace disputes and Employment Tribunal claims.

"Good employers will have nothing to fear, while their competitors, who gain advantage by treating their employees unfairly, will properly be held to account.”

Our Employment team provides advice on the employment aspects of all major business decisions. For advice, contact a member of the team, call us on 08456 381 381 or email enquiries@ibblaw.co.uk.