Want to talk to an expert employment law solicitor?

You'll receive a callback from a specialist within an hour

In the case of Miss Munro v The Co-operative Ltd ET/3200668/2016, the Employment Tribunal held that a female employee was entitled to almost £30,000 in compensation after being sexually discriminated against at work. However, the Employment Tribunal significantly reduced the sums awarded to the employee on the basis that her mental health issues were caused by other, significant contributory factors, in addition to the sexual discrimination she suffered at work.

The facts in Miss K Munro v The Cooperative Group Ltd

Miss Munro worked for The Cooperative Group Ltd (“the Co-op”). She brought a claim in the Employment Tribunal for sexual discrimination harassment arising from her treatment by a work colleague who, amongst other things, habitually stared at and followed her. On one occasion when Miss Munro objected to being followed by the colleague, he said to her ‘I think you are quite pretty and I would not mind a bit’. She also made a claim for victimisation after raising a grievance about her colleague’s behaviour, after which she was suspended and told she might be dismissed as her allegations were serious. Miss Munro was signed off work for a period following the events. Her GP notes referred to work related stress as well as life events including her losing three grandparents in quick succession and her boyfriend having ended their relationship.

Miss Munro subsequently made various claims in the Employment Tribunal for sex discrimination harassment, direct sex discrimination and victimisation.

The decision of the Employment Tribunal (ET)

The Employment Tribunal upheld some of Miss Munro’s complaints of direct sex discrimination, sexual harassment and victimisation.

At the remedy hearing Miss Munro made a claim for the financial loss she suffered as a result of receiving statutory sick pay for a period of sickness absence she argued was caused by the discriminatory treatment, rather than the full pay she would have received if she had not been discriminated against and had remained at work. At the remedy hearing the Employment Tribunal also had to decide to what extent was Miss Munro’s psychiatric and psychological injury was caused by the Co-op and their employee’s discriminatory acts?

Causation as to personal injury

The Employment Tribunal felt that Miss Munro’s evidence at the remedy hearing was less convincing than her evidence at the liability hearing. At the liability hearing she gave evidence about the effect that splitting up with her boyfriend had on her mental health and in addition her GP notes clearly referred to her need for bereavement counselling. However, at the remedy hearing she argued that her GP had over empathised the causes of her depressive illness as being related to her bereavements and her relationship break up. The Employment Tribunal found that the predominant causes of Miss Munro’s depressive illness were factors other than the sex discrimination she experienced at the Co-Op and that the two were divisible. They apportioned 25% of the harm Miss Munro suffered as being caused by the Co-op’s unlawful discrimination and reduced her awards accordingly.

Loss of Earnings

The Employment Tribunal did make an award in respect of the financial loss suffered by Miss Munro for the period where she received statutory sick pay rather than the full pay she would have received had she remained at work. However, this award was also reduced by 75% to reflect the Employment Tribunal’s findings as to the predominant causes of Miss Munro’s depressive illness.

Remedy

The Employment Tribunal awarded Ms Munro £29,864.68 in compensation (plus interest), comprising of:

  • • Loss of earnings: £1,114.68 (25% of £4,458.17)
    • Personal Injury award: £3,750 (25% of 15,000)
    • Injury to feelings: £25,000

Our solicitors’ views on the case of in Miss K Munro v The Cooperative Group Ltd

Sacha Barrett, an associate in the employment department at Redmans, made the following comment on the case: “This case demonstrates that, following the case of Hampshire County Council v Wyatt, where the evidence shows that a psychiatric injury has one or more separate material causes (in addition to a respondent’s unlawful act or breach of duty), where the resultant harm is truly divisible, an Employment Tribunal will conduct an analysis to estimate and award compensation for that part of the harm only for which the respondent is responsible.

The decision of the Employment Tribunal in Miss K Munro v The Cooperative Group Ltd: 3200668/2016 can be found here.

About

Redmans Employment Team deal with employment matters for both employers and employees, including drafting employment contracts and policies, advising employers and employees on compromise agreements, handling day-to-day HR issues, advising on restructures, and handling Employment Tribunal cases for both employers and employees Call 020 3397 3603 to speak to one of the members of our employment team or email us on enquiries@redmans.co.uk. Redmans have offices in Richmond, Chiswick, Hammersmith, Fulham, Kingston, Wimbledon, Ealing, Kings Cross and Marylebone (meetings strictly by appointment only).

Want to talk to an expert employment law solicitor?

You'll receive a callback from a specialist within an hour

Share →

Our awards

Request a callback

Your name

Your email

Your telephone number

Contact us

Please feel free to discuss your own position and concerns. Contact your nearest office on:

T: 020 3397 3603
E: enquiries@redmans.co.uk
W: www.redmans.co.uk

Testimonials

4.76 Average

173 Reviews

Anonymous

Excellent service, compassionate and a good outcome

Posted 19 hours ago

Anonymous

I had an employment issue which required legal advice. Chris was very supportive and knowledgeable, resulting in an optimum resolution in my favour. Would definitely recommend.

Posted 1 week ago

David M

Very professional and first-rate advice. I would use again. With thanks,

Posted 1 week ago

Anonymous

Got the job done swiftly without going too much in to detail.

Posted 1 week ago

Derek W

Redmans dealt with my case very efficiently and I was happy with the outcome.

Posted 1 week ago

Anonymous

Timely professional advice!

Posted 1 week ago

Anonymous

Very good service

Posted 2 weeks ago

Anonymous

I was in contact with Chris and then worked with Caroline on an employment matter. I was very pleased with the service and professionalism throughout, and came away with satisfied with the outcome. Would happily recommend.

Posted 2 weeks ago

Nikki

Received advice re employment law. Chris was very helpful and advised accordingly. Would happily recommend them and if ever I need help again, will not think twice before using them.

Posted 3 weeks ago

Samantha K

Absolutely brilliant thank you. Caroline Lewis is a legend

Posted 2 months ago

Anonymous

The legal advice was clear and helpful.

Posted 2 months ago

Davinder P

Good Service

Posted 2 months ago

Adrian V

I was using Redmans services for a Settlement Agreement. Very quick and professional service. The outcome was favourable and I was very pleased with the amendments and results. Pretty glad to recommend them for any type of legal advice.

Posted 2 months ago

Anonymous

Very responsive, efficient, clear and supportive. Thank you! Highly recommend.

Posted 2 months ago

Tiago S

Chris was always prompt to help me with legal matters that are beyond my comprehension and very helpful leasing with my former employer. I would recommend Redmans Solicitors to everyone who needs help.

Posted 2 months ago

Anonymous

Fast and professional advice tailored to what was needed. Thanks for your help Chris Hadrill and team.

Posted 2 months ago

Peter S

Really pleased with the outcome and the advice I had from Chris and Sacha.

Posted 2 months ago

Harika A

Redmans solicitor's helped me with my settlement agreement, Chris has been very helpful throughout the process.He was very prompt in his responses and made my settlement look simple.Special thanks to Caroline for her efficient communication, thorough explaination of contract terminology and negotiations.I highly reccommend Redmans solicitors for anyone seeking employment related legal help.

Posted 2 months ago

Anonymous

Good and quick service

Posted 2 months ago

Ricky D

Very satisfying to be assured of such attention and professionalism.

Posted 2 months ago

Anonymous

Excellent service - thankyou

Posted 2 months ago