Employment tribunal awards former employee £357,000 in harassment claim

Posted on August 31st, 2023

In the case of Ms E Tahir v National Grid UK Ltd, the Ms Tahir brought forward complaints of wrongful constructive dismissal, as well as harassment and victimisation under the Equality Act. In response, National Grid UK Ltd conceded liability, and a remedy hearing was scheduled to determine the compensation amount.

Facts of the case

Ms Tahir started her employment on an 18 month training contract with National Grid on 14 April 2020. Fifteen months into her role, she resigned due to allegations of sexual harassment from her mentor, accompanied by victimisation from him and others.

Following the onset of the harassment, which began in July 2020 and persisted until her resignation in July 2021, Ms Tahir began suffering from mental ill health challenges, specifically adjustment disorder with mixed anxiety and depressed symptoms.

Between January 2021 and February 2023, Ms Tahir applied for over 200 roles. Approximately two thirds of these roles were comparable to her position at National Grid. Out of these applications, she secured only three job offers.

ET findings

From the evidence provided, the ET considered that Ms Tahir is likely to catch up with her career trajectory and earnings within a five-year span. As a result, her award included:

  • £73,720 for future loss of earnings.
  • £56,681 for past loss of earnings.
  • £40,000 for injury to feelings.
  • Aggravated damages of £5,000 concerning post-claim conduct, notably the overlooking of the power dynamic between Ms Tahir and her mentor, and the fact that the alleged harasser remained in employment.

Furthermore, the ET also awarded an Acas uplift due to National Grid’s unreasonable failure to address the matter informally as per Ms Tahir’s request. The company also failed to allow Ms Tahir to both explain her complaint and detail her desired resolution. The ET considered that National Grid had not conducted the necessary investigations into the allegations.

Summary and advice

This case demonstrates the critical nature of addressing sexual harassment allegations appropriately. Employers must ensure compliance with the Acas code to avoid similar repercussions.

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