The removal of Employment Tribunal fees is widely anticipated to lead to an increase in Employment Tribunal claims and recent Guidance regarding compensation is likely to increase the trend.

Unlike unfair dismissal claims compensation for discrimination claims includes an element for “injury to feelings”. Injury to feelings is assessed using what is known as the “Vento Bands” (after the case of Vento v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police [2003]). On 4 September 2017, the President of the Employment Tribunals (England and Wales) published new guidance as to the Vento Bands. This is the first significant update since 2009.

The changes are:

Award 2009 2017
Lower band £600 – £6,000 £800 – £8,400
Middle band £6,000 – £18,000 £8,4000 – £25,200
Upper band £18,000 – £30,000 £25,200 – £42,000

The Guidance states that in exceptional cases the £42,000 limit may be exceeded. The Vento Bands are also now to be updated annually.

This is a very significant increase and given that the average award for sex discrimination in 2016 was £85,622 and the highest award was over £1,750,000 this is not to be taken lightly. However, there is much that employers can do to protect themselves against claims. Having the right policies in place is critical, but it is also about culture and training in the workplace. We can assist with getting the essential building blocks in place and also providing the ongoing assistance to ensure that those blocks are effective to ensure that businesses do not become part of unwelcome statistics.

If you have any questions regarding this topic or any employment issue, please contact Linky Trott or any member of the Edwin Coe Employment team.

Please note that this blog is provided for general information only. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content of this blog.

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