If a Claimant succeeds in a discrimination claim against an employer or former employer, an Employment Tribunal can award compensation for injury to feelings as well as for financial losses. This means the Claimant receives compensation for the upset, hurt and distress the discrimination has caused the Claimant.
Employment Tribunals use guidelines called the Vento guidelines to decide how much they should award for injury to feelings. The Vento guidelines are split into three bands depending on how serious the Tribunal considers the Claimant’s injury to feelings to be.
On 23 March 2018 the Presidents of the Employment Tribunals in England & Wales and Scotland issued Joint Presidential Guidance updating the Vento bands. In respect of claims presented on or after 06 April 2018, the Vento bands shall be as follows:
The top band
The Tribunal can award between £25,700 to £42,900 in the most serious cases of discrimination. This could include examples, where a Claimant has suffered a long campaign of discrimination or harassment. Exceptional cases can exceed £42,900. it is important to note that compensation can be unlimited under this category.
The middle band
The Tribunal can award between £8,600 to £25,700 in cases which are serious but do not fall into the top band. The middle band could include a serious one-off act of harassment or a lengthy but less serious act of discrimination. This band also covers cases where the discrimination was relatively minor but led to the Claimant’s loss of employment.
The lower band
The Tribunal can award between £900 to £8,600 in less serious cases of discrimination, such as a one-off act of relatively minor harassment or discrimination.
This update to the Vento bands serves as a timely reminder for employers to make sure that they are taking all reasonable steps to prevent discrimination in the workplace. This might include carrying out diversity training and the implementation of equal opportunities and anti-bullying and anti-harassment policies. Employers who take these steps will find themselves in a stronger position to provide a statutory defence to any discrimination claim raised by an employee.