• Send us a message

    Fill in our form and we'll get back to you as soon as possible

    Please enter name
    Please enter your telephone number
    Please enter your email address
    Please let us know which of offices would most convenient for you?
    Please enter the details of your enquiry
    Please enter the verification code
    Send us a message
  • Services for you
  • Services for business

Medical Evidence in Employment Tribunal Personal Injury Claims

If an Employment Tribunal (ET) is called upon to assess general damages for personal injury, this is a matter of fact to be determined based on the individual evidence. The award is not liable to a successful appeal unless it can be shown that the ET has made an error of principle or has arrived at a figure that is manifestly too high or too low so as to be capable of being treated as perverse.

In Hampshire County Council v Wyatt, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) found that the ET had made no error of law in making the personal injury award it had to a dyslexic carer who won claims for unfair dismissal and disability discrimination after she was dismissed whilst absent from work with stress brought on by the manner of her suspension following allegations about her working methods. The award was made in the absence of expert medical evidence in support of the woman's disability claim.

Hampshire County Council had challenged the award as being excessive in circumstances where no expert medical evidence had been presented.

The EAT dismissed the Council's arguments. In its view, the ET was entitled to characterise the claimant's psychiatric injury as being moderately severe for the purposes of assessing the starting point for the personal injury award. Furthermore, whilst it may be advisable for claimants to obtain medical evidence in support of their claim, especially in cases involving psychiatric injury, and a failure to do so is to risk a lower award than might otherwise have been made, there is no principle of law that an ET cannot award compensation for personal injury in the absence of such evidence. The same is true of pecuniary loss awards in unfair dismissal claims.

In this case, there was ample evidence to support the ET's findings in the occupational health reports and in the woman's statements and those of her witnesses.

The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.