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‘Injured feelings’- Vento Bands price increase 2024

Injuring someone’s feelings through acts of discrimination, harassment or victimisation can be a costly business.

‘Injury to feelings’ is a compensatory award of damages, which the tribunal can award to compensate an employee for emotional suffering resulting from the treatment to which they have been subjected, forming the basis of for example, their discrimination or whistleblowing claim. This compensation is considered separately from any claim for financial loss such as loss of earnings.

Tribunals ultimately have discretion as to what amount of compensation to award, but the “Vento bands” set out the levels that will be considered when determining this amount.

The Presidents of the Employment Tribunals in England and Wales and Scotland update the Vento Bands yearly. In respect of claims presented on or after 6 April 2024, the Vento bands are:

Lower band of £1,200 to £11,700 (less serious cases)
Middle band of £11,700 to £35,200 (cases that do not merit an award in the upper band)
Upper band of £35,200 to £58,700 (the most serious cases)

An award may exceed £58,700 in exceptional cases.

Shauna Jones

Trainee Solicitor

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+44 118 960 4662

Injuring someone’s feelings through acts of discrimination, harassment or victimisation can be a costly business.

Why do we have Vento bands?

Vento bands get their name from the case Vento v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire. Prior to this case, there was little clarity and guidance on what sums could be awarded for injury to feelings. This led to the tribunal originally awarding £65,000 for injury to feelings which was deemed excessive. This was reduced to £18,000 on appeal and bands were introduced. Three bands were provided, and awards ranged from £500 for one-off occurrences to £25,000 for the most serious cases.

Since the initial bands were provided, tribunals began to take their own initiative to reflect inflationary increases in their awards and Presidential guidance was issued regarding formulas which should be used to the bands to reflect inflation. The Court of Appeal decision of Pereira de Souza v Vinci Construction in 2017 recommended that the agreed upon figures be published annually. These current rates are the Seventh Addendum and we now seen them published every April.

The annual increase of the bands therefore provides clarity and ensures that the tribunals can continue to maintain flexibility in their decisions.

How does the Tribunal determine bands?

The tribunal will consider a range of factors, including the upset, distress or hurt caused to the claimant, the seriousness of the unlawful treatment, and any medical condition with which the claimant suffers in deciding which Vento band is applicable, and where in that band the case falls..

Because injury to feelings are awarded in discrimination cases on top of the usual compensation and basic awards, such claims can become extremely costly and therefore prevention of such claims should be the aim. Employers should ensure they have policies and procedures in place to ensure good behaviours and compliance, with an . and train employees emphasise on a non-tolerance attitude towards harassment, victimisation or discriminatory treatment. For further advice, the employment team at Clarkslegal would be happy to assist.

About this article

Disclaimer
This information is for guidance purposes only and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. Please refer to the full General Notices on our website.

Shauna Jones

Trainee Solicitor

View profile

+44 118 960 4662

About this article

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