Abbey likely to appeal against massive race discrimination damages award

High street bank Abbey will likely appeal against an employment appeal tribunal’s decision to award former employee Balbinder Chagger £2.8 miilion compensation for suffering racial discrimination.

“We are currently considering whether to appeal further to the Court of Appeal as to these findings,” said an Abbey spokeswoman. “However, we are pleased that the decision regarding the calculation of compensation has been reviewed in our favour which we expect will considerably reduce the amount of damages involved.

“We expect to present a strong case to the employment tribunal in due course on these points in line with its guidance. Further comment would be inappropriate.”

If Chagger gets the award it will be one of the highest paid in the UK, topping the £1.4 million paid to investment bank worker Julie Bower in 2002 for sex discrimination.

Indian born Chagger, 40, from Hayes Middlesex, worked as a £100,000 a year trading risk controller for Abbey until he was made redundant in 2006. He claimed he lost his job because of racial discrimination and was targeted ahead of a similarly performing woman because of the colour of his skin.

Last year he won £50,000 from the Abbey at a tribunal, but went back because he believed he had underestimated his losses. Chagger then raised his claim to £4.3 million.

He told the tribunal that he applied unsuccessfully for 111 financial services jobs, gave up and retrained as a maths teacher earning £35,000 annually. The tribunal heard that Chagger would never find equivalent work again and should be compensated on the basis that he would lose 75% of earnings for the rest of his working life.

The tribunal’s written ruling said: “Future loss should be calculated on the basis of earnings that he would receive in that (his former) role. That gave an annual net loss of about £80,000.”

Rachel Dineley, a solictor at Beachcroft, said: “This will be a real eye-opener for employers. It’s simply extraordinary.”




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