Unlike unfair dismissal claims, where compensation is awarded primarily on the basis of the actual net loss of a claimant that flows from a dismissal, in discrimination cases awards can also be made for injury to feelings. Guidance was set down some years ago (Vento guidelines) by the Court of Appeal to assist courts and tribunals in quantifying this compensation. The guidelines separated awards into three bands. The bottom band covered less serious cases such as one of incidents, the middle band covered cases which were more serious, but not so serious as to justify a top band categorisation. The top band was for very serious cases such as where there had been an extended campaign of harassment over several years.
The limits for the Vento bands have been updated and will apply to any claims made on or after 11 September 2017. The new bands are as follows:-
- 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
Awards of over £42,000 will only be made in very exceptional cases. The bands will be reviewed in March 2018 and annually thereafter. More information on injury to feelings awards is set out here.