Earlier this summer the Presidents of the EAT in England and Scotland invited comments revisions to the award of damages for injury to feelings and psychiatric injury following a period of uncertainty about whether such damages should be uplifted for inflation and to take account of to 10% increase in awards for personal injury as a result of changes to the Judicial College Guidelines and recognised as the “Simmons v Castle uplift”.
The EAT Presidents published their response to the Consultation Document on Monday with the promise that Judicial Guidance will follow shortly. The upshot of the Consultation is as follows:
- The Lower Vento Band will be £800 to £8400
- The Middle Vento Band will be £8400 to £25,200
- The Upper Vento Band will be £25,200 to £42,000, and
- The most exceptional cases will be capable of exceeding £42,000
In setting out their response to the consultation the Presidents indicated that it was not appropriate to conduct a “root and branch” review and reform of these awards. They were urged as part of the consultation to issue guidance on matters that were to be taken into account; which it was said would help to manage claimants’ expectations. This invitation was declined saying that this is a matter for the Tribunal hearing the case.
The Presidentil Guidance is issued today and will take effect for all claims presented to the Employment Tribunal on or after 11 September 2017. Claims issued before that will be capable of having an appropriate uplift applied, if the Tribunal hearing the claim is persuaded this is appropriate and cogent evidence “of the rate of change in the value of money” is presented. In Scotland although there will be an uplift for RPI it will be possible for Scottish Tribunals not to apply the Simmons v Castle uplift, but must set out their reasons for reaching that conclusion
The approach adopted is to uplift the original Vento Band by the rate of RPI and then to apply the Simmons v Castle uplift.
The Bands will be reviewed again in March 2018 and annually thereafter.
Consistent with our policy when giving comment and advice on a non-specific basis, we cannot assume legal responsibility for the accuracy of any particular statement. In the case of specific problems we recommend that professional advice be sought.