The bands of awards for injury to feeling in discrimination cases, known as the Vento bands, have been increased from 6 April 2019.
Part of compensation that can be awarded by tribunals for unlawful discrimination are awards for ‘injury to feelings.’ This is a damages award aimed to be a remedy for the hurt, humiliation and degradation suffered by the employee and is considered separately from any claim for financial loss such as loss of earnings.
Since the case of Vento v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police such compensation has been placed into three distinct ‘bands’ based upon the severity, length and repetition of the acts complained of. These are;
- Lower – appropriate for less serious cases, such as where the act of discrimination is an isolated or one-off occurrence;
- Middle – serious cases, which do not merit an award in the highest band; and
- Upper – the most serious cases, such as where there has been a lengthy campaign of discriminatory harassment on the ground of sex or race.
The Presidents of the Employment Tribunals in England and Wales and Scotland increase the bands annually on 6 April, following a consultation in 2007.
The new Vento bands shall be as follows:
– a lower band of £900 to £8,800 (less serious cases);
– a middle band of £8,800 to £26,300 (cases that do not merit an award in the upper band); and
– an upper band of £26,300 to £44,000 (the most serious cases), with the most exceptional cases capable of exceeding £44,000