Vento Bands Updated
In employment tribunal claims such as unfair dismissal and breach of contract, compensation for a successful claim is based on financial loss.
However, in discrimination claims, the position is different. Whilst employees can be awarded compensation for financial loss, they can also claim an award for ‘injury to feelings’ arising from the discriminatory conduct under the Equality Act 2010.
An award of such compensation is intended to reflect the injury to feelings that the employee has suffered, rather than being a punishment to the employer.
What are the Vento Bands?
The Vento Bands are named after the landmark case from 2003 (Vento v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police) in which the Court of Appeal identified three ‘bands’ of compensatory awards to reflect the discrimination suffered by the Claimant:
- The lower band: £500 to £5,000. Appropriate for less serious cases, such as where the act of discrimination is an isolated or one-off occurrence.
- The middle band: £5,000 to £15,000. Serious cases, which do not merit an award in the highest band.
- The top band: £15,000 to £25,000. The most serious cases, such as where there has been a lengthy campaign of discriminatory harassment.
Why are they changing?
The Presidents of the Employment Tribunals in England & Wales, and Scotland have now issued Presidential Guidance updating the Vento Bands for damages for injury to feelings to take into account inflation. The new bands, for claims issued on or after 6 April 2020, are:
- The lower band: £900 to £9,000.
- The middle band: £9,000 to £27,000.
- The upper band: £27,000 to £45,000.
It is important to note that the tribunal makes an injury to feelings award at its absolute discretion. In determining whether an award would be appropriate and into which Band it falls, the tribunal will consider all of the facts of the case including the vulnerability of the employee and the impact the discriminatory treatment had on them.