Chelsea, Mourino, Carneiro rumoured pay-off
Chelsea FC and Jose Mourinho pay-off to Dr Eva Carneiro rumoured
Employment Law Expert Mark Ridley discusses the recent issues on the front and back pages of the Newspapers.
It has been widely reported that former club Dr Eva Carneiro has settled her employment Tribunal constructive dismissal and discrimination claims against Chelsea Football Club and Jose Mourinho. The terms of the settlement are confidential, and so it is not known what financial remedy for Dr Carneiro was agreed. However, it has been reported that Dr Carneiro had already rejected a £1.2 million settlement offer.
This does beg the question as to whether substantial damages might now be available from the employment Tribunal for other potential claimants.
The answer is, except in exceptional circumstances, no. According to the government's own statistics, in 2014/2015 the average unfair dismissal award was £12,362. The average sex discrimination awards was £23,478. The average awards for race discrimination, disability discrimination and sexual orientation discrimination were approximately £5000 less than that. The average award for age discrimination was less than half that for sex discrimination.
In unfair dismissal cases the compensatory award is subject to a statutory cap (currently £78,962). However, in July 2013, a further cap was introduced, such that the maximum compensatory award is the statutory cap, or 52 weeks' pay, whichever is the lower. There are, however, some cases, to which the statutory cap does not apply.
There is no cap to compensation in cases of discrimination, and so larger awards are usually found in cases involving both an unfair dismissal (and so a loss of a job and income), and discrimination.
Particularly large awards can occur where the employee was extremely well remunerated, where the employee can show significant pension losses, where the employee can show that it is unlikely that they will be able to work again, or at least not for a significant period of time, or in the very rare cases where an employee can show that they should be entitled to stigma damages, for loss of reputation.
Employers should reduce the risk of successful discrimination claims by ensuring that their equal opportunities policies and training is up to date.
If you wish to receive any advice in relation to employment law, please contact Mark Ridley, Head of Employment, on (024) 7663 2121.