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Mitigate don’t litigate

21 October 2011

All Claimants have a duty to mitigate their loss for the purpose of claiming compensation in the Employment Tribunal. But how far does this duty go when offered redeployment by their employer?

In the case of Debique v Ministry of Defence the Claimant succeeded in her claim for indirect race and sex discrimination. However the Court of Appeal held she had failed to mitigate her loss by rejecting redeployment which would have provided stability and addressed her childcare difficulties. Therefore there was no award for loss of earnings; only for her injured feelings.

Claimants will argue that it is unreasonable to expect them to continue working for an employer when they have suffered discrimination. However, the size of the army and the number of bases around the country was a factor in this particular case. Large multinationals or retailers therefore may be able to rely on this decision when a Claimant has been offered and refused a role at another location working with different individuals.

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