TODAY is day five of Mental Health Awareness Week in the U.K. and, as you know, the theme is anxiety. It is also the last, the shortest and final blog in this series from me. But it will not be the last that I shall be writing on the importance of mental health awareness in general.
I have chosen the title, ‘remedy,’ as the final in the series. I would have preferred to have used this title in the ‘cure’ sense. Unfortunately, that is way beyond me. If a disabled employee feels they have been discriminated against by their employer, they should raise a grievance in accordance with the company handbook.
However, they also have the right to commence proceedings within 3 months less 1 day (notify ACAS) in the employment tribunal. I should pause there. For ease of reference, I have deliberately been using employee/employer references throughout these blogs, as in an employee under a contract of employment.
However, ‘employment’ is defined under the Equality Act 2010 as meaning, ‘employment under a contract of employment, a contract of apprenticeship or a contract personally to do work.’
Therefore, you can see that it is wider than just an employee/employer relationship under a contract of employment. In other words, for example, if a worker is contracted, ‘personally to do work,’ subject to some restrictions, they have a right to bring a claim under the Equality Act 2010.
This is not to be confused with a claim for unfair dismissal under the Employment Rights Act 1996, which can only be brought by an employee.
If an employer is found to have discriminated against a worker, they will be liable not only for actual financial losses suffered by the victim due to the unlawful discriminatory act, but also an award for their hurt feelings, referred to as injury to feelings.
The last is calculated in relation to judicial guidelines referred to as the Vento Guidelines. At the time of writing, the current guidelines are: In respect of claims presented on or after 6 April 2023, the “Vento bands” shall be as follows: a lower band of £1,100 to £11,200 (less serious cases); a middle band of £11,200 to £33,700 (cases that do not merit an award in the upper band); and an upper band of £33,700 to £56,200 (the most serious cases), with the most exceptional cases capable of exceeding £56,200.
Compensation is uncapped. However, an award for indirect discrimination, for obvious reasons, if it was unintentional – see Provision, Criterion or Practice (Day 4) – will attract a lower compensation than, say, for example, an award for direct disability discrimination. In addition to compensation the tribunal can make a declaration that the employer discriminated against the worker and, in some circumstances, make recommendations.
Finally, awards attract interest from a point determined by the tribunal. Now, to wind down.
”My poem won’t do what I want it to.Anxiety
I chew my pen, my nails, my lip and resort to the key- board.
Words seem to have lives of their own.
They’re off to have adventures, without me, they don’t care about poetry.
Yet, they’ve guided me here, to a wordingfount, where poems are found.
Kim M. Russell, 21st April 2023
Finally, I am grateful for MJ who was mentioned in Day 1 (Mental Health Awareness) and MagCat who was mentioned in Day 2 (Knowledge) for sharing their very personal experiences, which are, I know, ones experienced/shared by many.
I thank the busy HR professional from a multinational company who was also mentioned in Day 2 (Knowledge) and who gave us her advice on what to do if a colleague discloses that they are suffering from anxiety.
I thank Mental Health First Aid and Wellbeing Trainer, Esther Thomas, who was mentioned in Day 3 (Discrimination) for sharing her top tips for coping with anxiety – BEST ME.
Day 4 (Provision, Criterion or Practice) was written late from my hotel room in Leeds after I finished my preparation for court today. I published the blog and then emailed it late to Black Wall St. Media (BWSM), only to find that they published it by the time I woke up this morning.
I am grateful to BWSM who has worked tirelessly on this series and, without any question of doubt, has helped spread this very important subject matter to a wider audience.
I thank Kim for giving me permission to reproduce her poem, ‘Anxiety,’ in this blog, Day 5.
Finally, I am the author of Race Relations in Employment Law – Put Simply in Black and White:
- (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Race-Relations-Employment-Ryan-Clement/dp/B0BZB75CBL/ (paperback)
- https://www.amazon.co.uk/Race-Relations-Employment-Ryan-Clement-ebook/dp/B09FH26KKJ/ (Kindle) and shall continue to write for the causes!
- Ryan Clement, LLM, BA, BSc, Barrister
- Black Wall St. Media (BWSM)
- Mental Health Awareness Week 2023 (BWSM)
- Mental Health Awareness (Day 1) (BWSM)
- Knowledge (Day 2) (BWSM)
- Discrimination (Day 3) (BWSM)
- Provision, Criterion or Practice (Day 4) (BWSM)
- Remedy (Day 5)
- Vento Guidelines
- MagCat’s blog
- Kim M. Russell’s website
- What to do if a colleague suffers from anxiety
- Esther Thomas YouTube
Copyright © Ryan Clement 2023