Many employers do not know that, unlike unfair dismissal compensation, discrimination compensation in most cases will include an injury to feelings award. When considering injury to feelings, the Tribunal will consider the “Vento guidelines”, these were set as a guideline 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 serous 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.
Originally the three bands were set as follows:
- The lower band: £500 – £5,000
- The middle band: £5,000 – £15,000
- The top band: £15,000 – £25,000
The Vento guidelines are now reviewed annually and the updated figures that will apply to cases presented on or after 6 April 2019 are:
- The lower band: £900 to £8,000
- The middle band: £8,800 to £26,300
- The top band: £26,300 to £44,000
It is not difficult to see the vast increase over the years, and they will be updated yearly. It is important to remember as well that this is only the award for injury to feelings, and therefore the full claim will also take into account financial losses that the employee incurred. To give you an idea of the amount of compensation an employee may receive in a discrimination claim, in 2015/16 the average award for a sex discrimination claim was £85,622 and the maximum was £1,762,130. As a business owner you will understand how much of a detriment a claim such as this could have on your business and therefore it is vital to protect your business that you seek legal advice before taking action.
As part of our Oracle Premium Service we offer training sessions on any one employment issues. The most popular training session is usually Equality and Diversity. This is due to the fact that if you receive a discrimination claim, if you have provided training on this subject you can shun any responsibility.
To find out more call 0330 088 2275 to speak to one of our specialist Employment advisers.
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