£13.4m Switalski claim upheld; F&C to appeal

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  • Switalski

    I can understand why it was appealed: it is worth a go when you have a figure of that size in dispute and appeals are relatively cheap.

    In part it looks like the employment appeal judgment was loosely written, but this judgment shows just how difficult it is to appeal an employment tribunal decision.

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  • Is this fair?

    This raises some questions about whether there should be a separate tribunal set up for big value cases like this.

    The tribunal clearly didn't do a good enough job in the first place, leaving one to wander whether it is qualified to deal with multi million pound claims.

    Now F&C want to appeal again - how much longer can one person fight a multi-million pound corporation?

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  • switalksi

    Increasingly employment lawyers are trying to use technical arguments (in this case, the burden of proof) to overturn what in essence were the tribunal's findings on the evidence before them.

    If the tribunal have concluded that, based on what they heard, the burden of proof did shift, appellate tribunals are going to be very reluctant to meddle with that.

    On the money, the key question now is whether she can really be awarded that much (£13.4m+). This would be many millions of pounds more than any UK tribunal has ever awarded.

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  • Too much money

    Naturally I feel sorry for anyone who has been forced to leave their job unfairly, but surely £13.4m compensation would be too much?

    I don't know how much Switalski earned at F&C, but unless it was significantly more than a £1m a year, awarding a sum of £13.4m will make winning a suit a more attractive prospect for her than her simply having carried on working - even if that had been in a scenario in which there was no discrimination, but in which it would nonetheless take 13 long years of hard work to make the same amount.

    I am not commenting on whether Switalski's claims of discrimination are valid - I don't work at F&C and couldn't possibly know - and I believe that everyone who is unfairly discriminated against should be compensated.

    The danger is simply that if we overdo the compensation, others will seek to bring claims without good cause as a cynical ploy to get rich quicker than they would do by just working hard.

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