South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service v Mansell & Ors UKEAT/0151/17/DM

Appeal against a decision that the ET has jurisdiction to award compensation for injury to feelings when determining compensation under section 49 ERA in respect of successful complaints of “working time detriment” under sections 45A and 48 ERA. Appeal dismissed.

The Claimants are firefighters who were compulsorily transferred from one of two stations in South Yorkshire in consequence of the Respondent's introduction of a duty system called Close Proximity Crewing (CPC). The Claimants were all members of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) which had a collective agreement with the Respondent and other fire authorities. Without variation of that agreement, the CPC involved a breach of Working Time Regulations, the Claimants were unwilling to volunteer for CPC and in consequence were transferred. The Claimants alleged breach of section 45A ERA relating to the right not to suffer detriment. The detriment the Claimant's alleged they had suffered in addition to financial loss included increased journey times; interference with care obligations; loss of free time, leisure time, and family time; the loss of existing congenial working arrangements; and disruption to their work patterns and working relationships. The claims succeeded and a Preliminary Hearing on remedy was ordered in these terms: "whether or not the tribunal has jurisdiction in a case of this nature to award compensation for injury to feelings and/or other non pecuniary loss". The ET held that awards for non-pecuniary loss, including injury to feelings, were potentially available. This was on the basis that a section 45A claim amounted to a claim of discrimination and of victimisation; and also having regard to the EU principle of equivalence. The Respondent appealed.

The EAT dismissed the appeal. All claims of detriment under Part V were akin to claims of discrimination and victimisation. The question of whether an award for injury to feelings should be made was a question of fact in each particular case.

Published: 01/02/2018 13:29

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