Wed 03 Apr 2024

Compensation increases for injury to feelings

The increases will apply to cases raised on or after 6 April 2024

Successful discrimination claims, unlike those for unfair dismissal, can include an award for injury to feelings. This type of award can also be made in detriment cases - for example for detrimental treatment arising out of whistleblowing. 

What is "injury to feelings"?

An injury to feelings award is intended to compensate a claimant for the hurt and distress they have suffered as a consequence of their employer's discriminatory action against them. An award of injury to feelings can be made whether or not a claimant has suffered any financial loss.

A claimant does not need to prove that they suffered any medical injury, and the employment tribunal needs to assess whether the claimant's feelings were injured and attribute a financial value to that injury. The tribunal will take various factors into account when coming to their decision including the degree of distress caused to the claimant, the seriousness of what happened and how a respondent has dealt with any related grievance brought by the claimant. Attributing a financial value in these circumstances is understandably difficult. 

To assist Employment Tribunals, the Court of Appeal previously set out guidance for quantifying awards for injury to feelings, known as the "Vento bands". These bands are now reviewed annually, and the Presidents of the Employment Tribunals in Scotland and England and Wales have recently issued new Presidential Guidance updating the Vento bands.

What are the new Vento bands?

The limits are increasing as follows:-

  •  Lower band (less serious cases): £1,200 to £11,700 (increasing from £1,100 to £11,200)
  •  Middle band (for cases that do not merit an award in the upper band): £11,700 to £35,200 (increasing from £11,200 to £33,700)
  • Upper band (most serious cases): £35,200 to £58,700 (increasing from £33,700 to £56,200)

Awards in excess of £58,700 will only be made in the most exceptional cases.

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