For claims presented from 6 April 2023 in the Employment Tribunal, the potential award for ‘injury to feelings’ in a discrimination, whistleblowing detriment or trade union membership claim is subject to increased guideline rates, which means in practice that claimants and respondents may see higher awards being made – though the increase is relatively minor.
The value of damages awarded in relation to injury to feelings is assessed in bands, known as ‘Vento bands’, guidelines of which were established in the landmark case of Vento v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire. Compensation for injury to feelings is intended to reflect the impact that the conduct has had on the employee.
The Vento bands were last subject to an increase in April 2022. The updated Vento bands, which apply to claims presented on or after 6 April 2023, are as follows:
- Lower band: £1,100 to £11,200 (less serious cases)
- Middle band: £11,200 to £33,700 (cases that do not merit an award in the upper band)
- Upper band: £33,700 to £56,200 (the most serious cases)
The Tribunals use the Vento bands as guidance, and in some instances, the Tribunal may use their discretion to make an award in excess of the upper band threshold (set to be £56,200 from April 2023); although this is extremely rare.
For further information about other statutory increases effective from April 2023, please find our update here.
If you are an employer or employee that requires employment-related advice, do not hesitate to contact our specialist team at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone.