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Updated Vento guidelines - 'Injury to feelings' awards

Compensation for discrimination covers non-financial losses and will include an injury to feelings award. This is unlike unfair dismissal compensation, which is limited to financial loss.

The Equality Act 2010 provides that compensation for discrimination may include (or be made up entirely of) compensation for injured feelings. An award for injury to feelings is separate from an award of compensation for financial loss. A claimant could therefore recover injury to feelings when they have suffered no financial loss.

In the case of Vento v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police, clear guidelines have been set by the Court of Appeal for the amount of compensation to be given for injured feelings and set out three bands of potential awards:

- The lower band: “appropriate for less serious cases, such as where the act of discrimination is an isolated or one-off occurrence”.

- The middle band: “serious cases, which do not merit an award in the highest band”.

- The top band: “the most serious cases, such as where there has been a lengthy campaign of discriminatory harassment on the ground of sex or race”. Only in “the most exceptional case” should an award for injury to feelings exceed the top of this band.

The Presidents of the Employment Tribunals (England & Wales) and (Scotland) have issued an annual update to the Vento guidelines, setting out the bands of awards for injury to feelings, adjusted for inflation.

The new bands are the following:

1. Lower band: £900 to £8,800

2. Middle band: £8,800 to £26,300

3. Upper band: £26,300 to £44,000

The above updated figures apply to cases presented on or after 6 April 2019.

If you have any questions, or wish to speak to a member of our Employment team, call 0113 849 4000 or email employment@schofieldsweeney.co.uk 

About the Author

Rajveer Basra

Solicitor

Rajveer is a Solicitor who works in the Employment team.

She advises employers, senior executives,…

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