September 19, 2017

Vento bands increase for discrimination cases

This post was written by: Ilinca Mardarescu

Vento bands increase for discrimination cases

Earlier this month, the President of the Employment Tribunals in England & Wales and Scotland announced a rise in the potential compensation employees will receive if they are successful when bringing a case of discrimination.

This followed a consultation on how to re-value what is known as the Vento bands. These are known as such due to the case of Vento v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police. Here, the Court of Appeal identified three bands of compensation for injury to feelings awards to be used in discrimination cases. At the time, the lower band was set at £500 to £5,000 for less serious cases; the middle band was set at £5,000 to £15,000 for cases that did not merit an award in the upper band; and finally the upper band which was set at £15,000 to £25,000 for the most serious cases (with the most exceptional cases capable of exceeding £25,000). The Court of Appeal made this decision on 20 December 2002 and the Tribunals have been following the Vento guidelines ever-since.

A more recent case of Simmons v Castle considered the issue of inflation and made the decision that the way to factor in any inflation issues should be to always start with the original Vento bands and apply to those figures the appropriate inflation index value and then add the 10% uplift and then round up or down to the nearest £100.

The consultation which took place recently concentrated only on the issue of how to re-value the Vento bands for inflation whilst also incorporating the Simmons v Castle uplift.

The announcement confirmed that the increases will be as set out below, and that this will be reviewed in March 2018 and every year thereafter.

  • Lower band (less serious cases): £800 to £8,400
  • Middle band: £8,400 to £25,200
  • Upper band (the most serious cases): £25,200 to £42,000
  • Exceptional cases: over £42,000

Certainly a regular review will mean a greater degree of certainty which should be welcomed by most and no doubt this will see the awards steadily being increased year on year.

Ilinca Mardarescu

Head of Employment