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Presidents of the Employment Tribunals publish uprated Vento bands to apply from 6 April 2018

05/04/2018

Where employees are successful in establishing conduct of a discriminatory nature, awards for injury to feelings can be made by Employment Tribunals. Awards are made in accordance with the now famous case of Vento v The Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police [2002] EWCA Civ 1871, otherwise known as “Vento”.

An award of damages is designed as a remedy for the hurt, humiliation and degradation suffered by the employee and will be considered separately from any claim for financial loss such as loss of earnings. Such a remedy has for a long time been an integral ingredient of discrimination claims and is currently enshrined in section 119 of the Equality Act 2010. Notwithstanding that, there has never been any legislative guidance on how awards for injury to feelings should be determined. This has often led to a good degree of variation between awards made by different Tribunals.

The Presidents of the Employment Tribunals in England and Wales and Scotland have now issued joint guidance on uprated Vento bands for awards for injury to feelings, in line with the Retail Price Index (RPI) and the uplift in the case of Simmons v Castle. These awards can be made where there is demonstrated some form of discrimination and can be awarded over and above the more binary, financial losses associated with non-discrimination cases. The bands differ slightly from those outlined in the Presidential Guidance issued on 5 September 2017 which will still apply to claims presented before 6 April 2018.

For claims presented in England and Wales on or after 6 April 2018, the following bands will apply:

  • A lower band of £900 to £8,600 (for less serious cases).
  • A middle band of £8,600 to £25,700 (for cases that do not merit an award in the upper band).
  • An upper band of £25,700 to £42,900 (for the most severe cases). In exceptional circumstances, awards can exceed £42,900.

Source: Gov.uk: Employment: Practice Directions: Presidential Guidance Vento Bands First Addendum (29 March 2018).

Lodders’ Head of Employment, Nick Rowe, comments further:

Employees seeking to bring discrimination claims of some kind are often aware that damages can be uncapped, in the event that there is established some kind of discrimination by Tribunals. It is always important for claimants to consider these “Vento” guidelines when seeking to predict any likely awards and equally essential for respondents to factor in the associated risks, when deciding upon an approach with employees generally and how to conduct any litigation that may emerge.”

Lodders’ team of employment solicitors always offer accurate, focused and solution-based legal advice to a wide range of clients. We have forged an excellent reputation for advising senior employees and stakeholders, SMEs, publicly owned companies, charities and other bodies in respect of all manner of employment-related issues. Nick Rowe has a wealth of experience in acting for individuals and employers, in respect of discrimination claims. For more information, contact Nick Rowe on 01242 229096 or via email.

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For more information, contact Nick Rowe on 01242 229096 or via email.