Earlier this month the Presidents of the Employment Tribunals in England, Wales and Scotland issued an update to the award of damages for injury to feelings and psychiatric injury.
These awards are made in accordance with the “Vento bands” (which take their name from the Court of Appeal case which initially considered this approach) and set out below are the following new bands as adjusted for inflation:
The Lower Vento Band will be £900 to £8,800
The Middle Vento Band will be £8,800 to £26,300
The Upper Vento Band will be £26,300 to £44,000, and
The most exceptional cases will be capable of exceeding £44,000
These types of awards are particularly relevant for discrimination claims as unlike compensation for unfair dismissal claims, which is limited to financial loss, compensation for discrimination claims can also cover non-financial losses. Indeed in most cases this will include an injury to feelings award.
What is particularly notable is an award for injury to feelings is separate from an award of compensation for financial loss. A claimant can therefore recover for injury to feelings even when they have suffered no financial loss. Given that even an award that falls within the Lower Vento Band (for less serious cases) could now amount to almost £9,000, this is not something that employers can ignore.
The Bands will be reviewed again in April 2020 and annually thereafter.
If you would like to discuss any of the above in more detail or how we may help you, please do not hesitate to contact the Employment team on 0118 952 7284.