Compensation awards for disability discrimination increased by
85 per cent last year, according to analysis of employment tribunal
decisions, writes David Brown.
The average award for disability discrimination was
£24,202, compared with £9,743 for race discrimination and
£9,035 for sex discrimination. The highest awards –
£38,271 – were made in disability discrimination cases
where the employer had failed to make reasonable adjustments.
The highest award in 2001 was in a discrimination case against
Sunderland council. An accountant received £278,801 after
being forced to resign because repeated turning from her desk to
her computer screen aggravated a back condition. The bulk of the
award – £195,923 – was for future loss.
A Disability Rights Commission spokesperson said: “There is now
an increased awareness of disability discrimination issues so we
will probably see a growth of claims for several years.”
The research was based on the 329 discrimination cases where
compensation was awarded during 2001. Most discrimination claims
are settled before a tribunal hearing.