This week, it has been confirmed, via a joint Presidential Guidance notice issued by The Presidents of the Employment Tribunals in England & Wales and Scotland, that from next month the Vento bands of awards for injury to feelings and psychiatric injury will be updated to take account of the RPI measure of inflation.
What are the Vento bands?
In successful claims for discrimination, under the Equality Act 2010, an Employment Tribunal (ET) can award damages to employees for injury to feelings for instances such as where an employee has been humiliated by their employer, received degrading treatment or suffered distress. Damages awarded for injury to feelings are separate to compensation for financial losses.
The bands of awards for injury to feelings are known as the Vento bands after the case in which the guidance was first set out – Vento v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire.
Injury to feelings awards are entirely discretionary and are made at some level in most successful discrimination claims. They are awarded to reflect the injury to feelings suffered by a worker, instead of being perceived as a punishment to the employer.
When deciding whether to make injury to feelings award, an ET will consider all of the relevant facts of the claim, which includes:
- The vulnerability of the worker;
- The seriousness of the treatment they have been subjected to; and
- What impact the treatment has had on them.
Updated injury to feelings awards as from 6th April 2021
For claims issued on or after 6th April 2021, the Vento bands are as follows:
- A lower band of £900 to £9,100 for less serious cases;
- Typically a one-off/isolated instance of discrimination.
- A middle band of £9,100 to £27,400 for cases that do not merit an award in the upper band;
- More serious cases which do not merit an award in the highest band.
- An upper band of £27,400 to £45,600 for the most serious cases with the most exceptional cases capable of exceeding £45,600.
- Long-standing instances of discriminatory behaviour from an employer towards an employee. In some exceptional circumstances, the top band can be exceeded.
How Nelsons can help
If you would like any advice in relation to the subjects discussed in this article, please contact Laura or another member of the team in Derby, Leicester or Nottingham on 0800 024 1976 or via our online enquiry form.