Discrimination and Injury to Feelings compensation increased
In 2010, the Government introduced the Equality Act which was designed to protect employees who have a 'protected characteristic' from unfair treatment. There are eight protected characteristics, which include:
- Gender Reassignment
- Marital Status
- Pregnancy and Maternity
- Religion and Philosophical Beliefs
- Sexual Orientation
When a Claimant is successful in a claim of discrimination, they are entitled to a form of compensation known as "Injury to Feelings". This is a claim for compensation for the upset, distress and injured feelings a worker may have suffered as a result of discrimination.
In deciding the level of compensation a Claimant should be awarded, the Tribunal should consider the impact that the discriminatory behaviour had on the individual rather than the seriousness of the conduct of the Respondent. There are three bands for Injury to Feelings compensation and these are commonly referred to as 'Vento Bands'.
- The lower band is appropriate for less serious cases of discrimination, where the behaviour is an isolated or one off occurrence.
- The middle band is for serious cases, but not so serious as to merit an award in the highest band.
- The top band is reserved for the most serious cases of discrimination including cases where there has been a lengthy campaign of discrimination or harassment.
The Presidents of the Employment Tribunals in England & Wales have confirmed that they are increasing the compensation for these claims. From 06 April 2022, the Vento bands shall be as follows:
- The lower band will be compensation between £990 and £9,900;
- The middle band will be compensation between £9,900 and £29,600; and
- The top band will be compensation between £29,600 and £49,300.
Tribunals will be entitled to exceed the top band for the most exceptional discrimination cases.