Scrase Law Employment Solicitors

The cost of injured feelings in discrimination claims

If a claimant succeeds in a claim of discrimination in an Employment Tribunal, they can claim compensation that will normally mainly be for their financial losses.  There is no cap on the compensation award.

In addition, however, the claimant can claim compensation for non-financial losses, in particular compensation for injured feelings.  A claimant can be awarded compensation for injury to feelings even when they have suffered no financial loss.

In the case of Vento v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police, the Court of Appeal set clear guidelines for the amount of compensation to be given for injured feelings and set out three bands of potential awards.  These are known as the Vento guidelines.

The three bands are:

  • A lower band – for less serious cases, such as where the act of discrimination is an isolated or one-off occurrence;
  • A middle band – for cases that do not merit an award in the upper band; and
  • An upper band – for the most serious cases, such as where there has been a lengthy campaign of discriminatory harassment on the ground of sex or race.

Injury to feelings awards

The Vento guidelines are adjusted each year to take account of the Retail Prices Index (RPI) measure of inflation.  For claims presented on or after 6 April 2024, the Vento bands have increased as follows:

  • Lower band: £1,200 to £11,700.
  • Middle band: £11,700 to £35,200.
  • Upper band: £35,200 to £58,700.

Exceptional cases are capable of exceeding £58,700.

Comment

When quantifying the injury to feelings, the tribunal will look at the effect the discriminatory act has had on the particular claimant.  It may take into account factors such as the vulnerability of the claimant, any medical condition that the claimant was suffering from, the manner in which the employer dealt with any grievance, the degree of distress or upset caused, and the seriousness of the treatment.

We can provide bespoke equality awareness training in your workplace for managers. Contact us to find out more.

29 May 2024

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©2024 SCRASE LAW LTD. THIS POST IS FOR GENERAL INFORMATION ONLY AND IS NOT ADVICE. YOU ARE RECOMMENDED TO SEEK PROFESSIONAL ADVICE BEFORE TAKING ANY ACTION ON THE BASIS OF THIS POST