Make a Tribunal claim for victimisation
Content / trigger warning
How to make a Tribunal claim
You can make a Tribunal claim at no cost to the Employment Tribunal, using the ET1 form. Before you submit your claim, you must contact ACAS, the public body who can help to resolve your claim through Early Conciliation. You can write your particulars of claim using our ET1 Particulars of Claim template.
This guide will walk you through making a victimisation claim.
How to complete Section 8.2 of the ET1 form
The ET1 form will ask in section 8.2 for the background and details of your claim. The best way to approach this is to write your Particulars of Claim (called a Paper Apart if you are in Scotland). This is where you lay out what happened, what legal claims you’d like to make and your reasoning.
This section is the heart of your Tribunal claim and is very important and difficult to change later on, so it’s worth spending some time to make sure it’s clear.
How to create your particulars of claim:
- Write your ET1 section 8.2
You’ll normally do this by creating a separate document called the Particulars of Claim (or Paper Apart in Scotland). This sets out the background and details of your claim. Valla offers step-by-step guidance to help you make sure your claims are clear and laid out in the right way.
- Convert the file to Rich Text Format (RTF)
Convert your file to RTF and attach it to the online ET1 form. If you’re not sure how to do this, you can purchase Valla’s Peace of Mind Check and we will sort this out for you.
- Submit your ET1 form
Wait for the Tribunal to acknowledge your claim. They will also send a copy to the Respondent, who will have 28 days to respond.
Specific things to consider in your victimisation claim
Laying out your claim
When you are claiming victimisation at Tribunal, you want to clearly argue that you have been treated badly because you have made a complaint about discrimination, or have helped a colleague make a complaint about discrimination. For example:
- A woman makes a complaint of sex discrimination against her employer. As a result, she is denied promotion - this could be victimisation due to a protected act relating to sex discrimination.
- An employer threatens to dismiss a staff member because he thinks she intends to support a colleague’s sexual harassment claim - this could be victimisation due to a protected act relating to sexual harassment.
- A senior manager upholds a worker’s grievance about harassment. As a result, they are not put forward by their director to attend an important conference on behalf of the company - this could be victimisation due to a protected act relating to harassment.
With victimisation, your employer can be liable for the acts of its employees, as well as the employees being personally responsible.
Proving your claim
You don’t need to attach evidence to a Tribunal ET1 claim, but it’s a good idea to back up your claims by mentioning the evidence you intend to use. For victimisation claims, people typically refer to evidence such as text messages, emails, letters, meeting notes and witness evidence.
What you can ask for in your victimisation claim
If you’re successful in a Tribunal claim, you will be awarded a “remedy”. This mainly includes financial compensation, like loss of earnings. It can also include some non-financial remedies too.
Common remedies people ask for at Tribunal
Some of the key remedies you can ask for at Tribunal are:
- The money you have lost from being out of work, or working in a lower-paid job.
- The money that you expect to lose in the future from being out of work, or working in a lower-paid job.
- Wages that you are owed, including holiday pay and notice pay.
As well as the common remedies that you can ask for, discrimination-specific claims also have the option to include an “injury to feelings” remedy. This is compensation which you can be awarded when you have been hurt or distressed because you have been discriminated against.
Injury to feelings is generally awarded within one of three “Vento bands” depending on severity:
- for less serious cases - £990 to £9,900
- for more serious cases - £9,900 to £29,600
- for the most serious cases - £29,600 to £49,300
For example, Lashawn claimed victimisation as their manager became hostile to them after they raised a complaint of age discrimination. As well as victimisation, they made a few other successful claims. They were awarded £13,000 plus interest in compensation for injury to feelings.
Real victimisation cases you can learn from
Summary: a salesperson complained to their employer that they felt they were being discriminated against because of their skin colour. They were told not to be "childish" and two months later were dismissed from the job.
Total award: £55,256.08
Outcome: the Tribunal found that the salesperson had been victimised. He also claimed direct discrimination but the Tribunal found that there was no evidence of direct race discrimination - the real issue was the way he was treated after his original complaint.
Summary: an employee was subjected to numerous offensive comments about his sexuality. He raised this by email with his employer. In response, he received a threatening letter from the in-house solicitor, which attempted to dissuade him from making a Tribunal claim. They also threatened to bring his conduct to the attention of the Tribunal.
Total award: £30,800 plus interest, with an additional sum of £18,353.501 to be paid to the government due to aggravating features.
Outcome: the Tribunal found that this was victimisation. The employee also succeeded in claims for harassment related to sexual orientation, a failure to make reasonable adjustments and constructive dismissal.
Related Tribunal claims
If you’ve faced victimisation at work, there are potentially a number of other discrimination claims that could apply to you:
- Direct discrimination - where you’ve been treated badly because of a protected characteristic.
- Harassment - where you’ve been subjected to behaviour that relates to a protected characteristic and is unwanted. This behaviour must make you feel, or be intended to make you feel intimidated, degraded, or offended.
- Indirect discrimination - where a company policy or practice negatively affects a group of people who fall under the protected characteristic you are claiming.
- Sexual harassment - where you have experienced unwanted conduct of a sexual nature, or been treated less favourably because you have either submitted to or rejected sexual harassment, or harassment related to sex or gender reassignment.
- Failure to make reasonable adjustments (note that this only applies to disability) - where your employer has failed to make a reasonable change to help you to do your job, or apply for a job, to reduce the impact of your disability.
- Discrimination arising from disability (note that this only applies to disability) - where you’ve been treated unfairly because of something connected to your disability rather than the disability itself.
You may also be able to make a claim for unfair dismissal, constructive dismissal or another type of employment law. You can download your free Action Toolkit to find out more.