Employment Tribunal awards Claimant compensation of over £35,000 after he was victimised by previous employer (Mohamud v JJ Food Service Limited)

In the case of Mr R Mohamud v JJ Food Service Limited: ET/3302040/2014 the Employment Tribunal held that Mr Mohamud should be awarded £35,717.70 because he was victimised (under section 27 of the Equality Act 2010).

The facts in Mohamud v JJ Food Service Limited

Mr Mohamud worked for JJ Food Service Limited from December 2012 as a book-keeper, with his employment coming to an end on 14 August 2014.

The Employment Tribunal held (in an unpublished liability judgment) that Mr Mohamud had been subjected to victimisation by JJ Food Service Limited (that, essentially, he had been dismissed because he had undertaken a protected act (a complaint that he was being discriminated against)).

The Employment Tribunal was therefore convened to undertake a remedy hearing in this case.

The decision of the Employment Tribunal in Mohamud v JJ Food Service Limited

Mr Mohamud claimed losses of £268,366.40 in his schedule of loss.

The Employment Tribunal awarded Mr Mohamud the following sums:

  1. Injury to feelings: £8,000.00 (within interest thereon of £910.64)
  2. Past loss of earnings: £25,362.02 (with interest thereon of £1,443.74)

Injury to feelings

Mr Mohamud was diagnosed in 2008 and suffering (at that time) from stress and depression. After his dismissal he visited his doctor and was diagnosed with anxiety and depression, with his diagnosis later changing to stress, anxiety, poor sleep, and depression. In January 20165 he felt suicidal and therefore contacted his GP to complete anxiety and depression questionnaires. In March 2015 Mr Mohamud’s GP concluded that his depression had been caused by “his recent employment issues”.

The Employment Tribunal found that Mr Mohamud had suffered an injury to his feelings that fell within the lower quartile of the middle Vento band, awarding him £8,000.

Loss of earnings

Mr Mohamud’s pre-dismissal salary with JJ Food Service Limited was £21,000.

Mr Mohamud started looking for work in June/July 2015 and was able to secure new employment in January 2016. He worked as a bookkeeper but his employment ended in February 2017. He then obtained new employment in March 2017 as a financial analyst on a one-year fixed-term contract on a salary of £26,000 per annum, with his position to be reviewed at the expiry of that one-year term.

The Employment Tribunal limited Mr Mohamud’s losses to 11 January 2016 as he was in regular employment from that date. The Tribunal therefore held that he should received loss of earnings from 13 August 2014 to 11 January 201 at £334.65 per week, giving a figure for past loss of earnings of £24,764.10.

Other remedy issues

The Employment Tribunal held that an ‘ACAS uplift’ should not be applied to the financial loss of earnings award, as Mr Mohamud was not dismissed because of his conduct or capability.

The Tribunal further held that an award of aggravated damages should not be made (as the Tribunal found that JJ Food Service had not acted in a high-handed, malicious or insulting way towards him). The Employment Tribunal also held that there was insufficient medical evidence to warrant awarding Mr Mohamud damages for personal injury.

Our solicitors’ view on Mohamud v JJ Food Service Limited

Chris Hadrill, a specialist employment solicitor at Redmans, commented on the case: “This case shows that employers can face potentially substantial awards if they are found to have discriminated against (or, as in this case, victimised) employees.”

The judgment of the Employment Tribunal can be found here.