April 8, 2019
The Employment Tribunal has issued its annual update to the Vento guidelines.
The Vento guidelines are used by Employment Tribunals to calculate Injury to feelings in unlawful discrimination cases. If an employee is claiming discrimination, for example on grounds of race or disability, the employee can ask the Tribunal to make an award for Injury to feelings. This award is to compensate for any upset, distress or humiliation suffered by the employee as a result of the employer’s unlawful treatment. This award will be considered separately to any financial losses, such as loss of earnings or notice pay.
In 2002, the Court of Appeal attempted to set out guidelines for this award in the case of Vento v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police. The court set out three bands for compensation dependant on the seriousness of the claim. Although Tribunals have discretion as to what they award, the Tribunals have had regard to the Vento Guidelines in subsequent cases and these bands have been periodically increased with inflation since. The new ranges will apply to all claims made to the Employment Tribunal on or after 6th April 2019.
||£900 to £8,800
Less Serious Cases, such as a one-off occurrence or an isolated incident of discrimination.
Age Discrimination – An employee hired on a 3-month probationary basis starting with a reasonable responsibilities and duties. These duties and responsibilities are slowly given to another, older employee and the first employee is ultimately dismissed without notice or right of appeal and given the reason that they were too young.
||£8,800 to £26,300
Serious cases that do not merit an award in the Upper Band
Discrimination – An employer fails to thoroughly investigate allegations of bullying and harassment, by means of hurtful comments and direct acts, when a female transgender employee raises a grievance. This leads to constructive dismissal.
||£26,300 to £44,000
Most Serious Cases, such as a lengthy campaign of discriminatory harassment on the grounds of sex or race.
Sex Discrimination – A young female employee is subject to 8 months of sexual harassment from her line manager, by way of questions about intimate details, inappropriate touching and simulating sexual intercourse. The employee’s first complaint is dismissed and following a grievance procedure no disciplinary actions is taken.
The most exceptional cases capable of exceeding £44,000.
If you feel that you have been subjected to an act of discrimination, it is important that you take legal advice as early as possible to ensure you receive the maximum amount of compensation your claim merits. Alternatively, if you are a business facing a claim of discrimination it is important that you take advice in order to best respond to an allegation of discrimination and minimise the financial impact such a claim could have on your business.
About the Author
Antonia Greaves, is a placement student in the Employment team at Spencers Solicitors who is currently studying Law at Sheffield Hallam University.