The Presidents of the Employment Tribunals (England & Wales, and Scotland) issued Presidential Guidance on 24 March 2023 updating the Vento bands, which set the levels of compensation that can be awarded for injury to feelings and psychiatric injury in discrimination, harassment and victimisations cases in employment tribunals in the United Kingdom.
The changes, effective from 6 April 2023, are:
|Award||Pre 6 April 2023||Post 6 April 2023|
(for less serious cases)
|£990 to £9,900||£1,100 to £11,200|
(for cases that do not merit an award in the upper band)
|£9,900 to £29,600||£11,200 to £33,700|
(for most serious cases, with exceptional cases being capable of exceeding the upper limit)
|£29,600 to £49,300||£33,700 to £56,200|
These awards have been updated in line with the Presidents of the Employment Tribunals yearly consideration of the Retail Price Index measure of inflation.
Where do the Vento bands come from?
The Vento bands originated in the Court of Appeal’s decision in Vento v The Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police (No 2).
The lower band applies to “less serious cases, such as where the act of discrimination is an isolated or one off occurrence”. The middle band “should be used for serious cases, which do not merit an award in the highest band”, and the top band is imposed in “the most serious cases, such as where there has been a lengthy campaign of discriminatory harassment”.
What does this mean for employers?
Employers should be well advised to ensure that they are taking all possible and reasonable steps to prevent unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation from occurring in the workplace. These increased awards should serve as a reminder to employers to adopt up-to-date working policies and review them periodically, as a failure to do so may result in exposure to significant financial liabilities.
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