In what is believed to be one of the largest compensation settlements in the history of the UK’s Royal Mail, a British-Indian employee has been granted a sum exceeding 2.3 million pounds (equivalent to approximately 4.43 million AUD) after her claim of workplace bullying was upheld.
Kam Jhuti, who had filed her complaint almost eight years ago with an employment tribunal, alleged that she had endured intimidation and harassment from her superior after she voiced concerns regarding a colleague’s allegedly fraudulent acquisition of a bonus.
According to ‘The Daily Telegraph,’ the tribunal determined that her boss’s treatment had a “catastrophic” impact on Jhuti.
An official remedy decision, issued in relation to the protracted case this week, states, “The tribunal makes a total award of GBP 2,365,614.13, payable by the respondent to the claimant.”
“Subject to the paragraph below, payment of the award is stayed pending the outcome of the respondent’s (Royal Mail) appeal against the tribunal’s original judgment on remedies which was sent to the parties on October 3, 2022. Both parties have the liberty to apply to lift this stay,” the statement reads.
“Of that total award, the respondent (Royal Mail) will, however, make payment of the sum of 250,000 pounds gross to the claimant; the stay does not, therefore, apply in relation to this sum. The parties agreed that the respondent will pay this sum to the claimant within 14 days of the date of this hearing,” it further explains.
Earlier, the tribunal had concluded that the postal service had demonstrated conduct that was “high-handed, malicious, insulting, and oppressive” throughout the case proceedings.
During a Supreme Court hearing in 2019, it was revealed that Jhuti had commenced her employment as a media specialist at the Royal Mail’s Market Reach unit in London with an annual salary of 50,000 pounds in September 2013.
However, the following month, during her time observing a colleague, she began to suspect that the colleague was not adhering to the guidelines set by Ofcom, the regulatory authority, and was also violating the company’s policy regarding bonuses known as Tailor-Made Incentives (TMIs). According to her, this allowed the colleague to achieve performance targets and secure a bonus by essentially defrauding the company, as reported by the newspaper.
Later in the same month, an expert on TMIs within the company confirmed Jhuti’s earlier allegations to be accurate, acknowledging that media specialists were offering TMIs in an inappropriate manner.
As the process unfolded, Jhuti started experiencing stress and raised concerns about her boss’s behaviour.
Although she was assigned a new line manager, she was informed that her progress was not meeting expectations. In March 2014, she was granted leave due to work-related stress, anxiety, and depression, and never returned to work.
After initiating legal proceedings against the Royal Mail in an initial employment tribunal in 2015, Jhuti’s claims of unfair dismissal proceeded following a favourable ruling from the Supreme Court.
Since an appeal is still pending in the case, the Royal Mail is currently expected to make a payment of only 250,000 pounds out of the total compensation amount.