Compensation awards for disability discrimination nearly double

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.

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