When making an award for injury to feelings, most commonly in discrimination cases with potential for such awards to also be made in other detriment based claims (following clarification by the EAT in the case of South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue v Mansell), an Employment Tribunal will base their calculations on the guidelines and bands set out in the Court of Appeal case Vento v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire, more commonly known as Vento. The purpose of that award is not to punish the employer or wrongdoer (as discrimination claims can also be made against individuals), but rather to compensate the claimant for the hurt caused to their feelings. The case provides guidance for Employment Judges as to the compensation that should be awarded with reference to the seriousness and longevity of the discrimination, as well as the impact it had on the claimant.
As the Vento decision dates back to 2003, it has since been necessary to update the monetary figures attributed to those bands in order to take into account inflation.
The Presidents of the Employment Tribunals in England & Wales and Scotland have issued a fourth addendum to their guidance on Employment Tribunal awards for injury to feelings and psychiatric injury. The updated presidential guidance increases the Vento bands for making awards for injury to feelings in discrimination claims so that it is aligned with changes to the Retail Price Index All Items Index, which was released on 24 March 2021.
The update states that for claims presented on or after 6 April 2021, the Vento bands will be:
- £900 to £9,100 for the lower band—less serious cases
- £9,100 to £27,400 for the middle band
- £27,400 to £45,600 for the upper band—the most serious cases
- £45,600 and above for the most exceptional cases
At Employee Management Ltd, our HR support consultants provide commercially minded employment law advice and bespoke HR services that can actively reduce your organisation’s exposure to litigation. We also offer a comprehensive employment tribunal representation service through which we can handle any claims you do receive. If you are an employer facing employment issues which could result in litigation, please feel free to contact us for a confidential, no-obligation discussion.