Discrimination: Directors can be joint and severally liable

2 mins

Posted on 14 Oct 2011

In Bungay and another v Sanini and others, the EAT found that two Board members were acting as agents of the Claimant’s employer and were held joint and severally liable to pay discrimination compensation and aggravated damages to the Claimants, as a result of their discriminatory and malicious conduct towards them.  Mr Chandel and Mr Saini were employed by All Saints Haque Centre and were found by an ET to have been dismissed unfairly and were subjected to direct discrimination and harassment because of their religion.  The claim was brought against the employer and Mr Bungay and another director Mr Paul.  The ET found that the Directors had been the main perpetrators and ordered that they were jointly and severally liable with the employer to pay for the damages of £37,000.  Mr Chandel and Mr Saini’s employer then went into compulsory liquidation so the compensation was payable by Mr Bungay and Mr Paul, much to their horror.  The EAT confirmed that the directors were joint and severally liable as they were the main perpetrators and were acting as agents for the employer. Furthermore, following the dismissal, the directors had made discriminatory and malicious complaints to the police about Mr Chandel and Mr Saini which resulted in their being arrested.  This action was sufficiently high handed and malicious that it entitled the Claimants to recover aggravated damages, as well as compensation for injury to feelings.

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