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Increase to compensation for successful discrimination claims

Following on from our article, The only way is up: Compensation Limits for Employment Tribunal Claims and the National Minimum Wage are both set to rise, the Presidents of the Employment Tribunals in England & Wales and Scotland have issued further information to their guidance on Employment Tribunal awards for injury to feelings, having now confirmed the increased “Vento bands” for making awards for injury to feelings in discrimination claims.

The Vento bands are named after the landmark case of Vento v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police 2003 in which the Court of Appeal set out clear guidelines for courts and Tribunals to apply when they are assessing injury to feelings awards.

Compensation for injury to feelings is intended to reflect the injury that the employee has suffered to their feelings, as a result of discrimination. When deciding what to award, an Employment Tribunal will take into consideration a number of factors including (but not limited to):

  • the vulnerability of the employee (including whether they suffer from a medical condition);
  • whether the employee has suffered with stress, anxiety and/or damage to their personal relationships;
  • the degree of hurt, distress or upset caused; and
  • the way in which the employer dealt with any complaint that was made by the employee.

The new bands that the awards will fall into are as follows, and will apply to claims submitted on or after April 2022:

Band

Old Rates

New Rates

Lower Band

(for less serious cases)

 

£900 to £9,100

£990 to £9,900

Middle Band

(for cases that do not merit an award of the upper band)

£9,100 to £27,400

£9,900 to £29,600

Upper Band

(for the most serious cases)

 

£27,400 to £45,600

£29,600 to £49,300

Exceptional Cases

 

 

May exceed £45,600

May exceed £49,300

As you can see from the categorisation of the Vento bands, the Tribunal has a great deal of discretion when making awards in discrimination claims, and each case will turn on its facts and the evidence presented to the Tribunal.

To mitigate the risk of successful discrimination claims, we recommend that all employers have in place adequate policies and training for all employees on discrimination and equal opportunities.

For further advice on employment related issues, please contact our Employment team. For more information on this article, please contact Laura Wonnacott or Keeley Parkes.

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