Discrimination Claims to become more Costly than ever?

blog-publish-date

04 Oct 2017

blog-read-duration

Following a consultation in relation to existing Vento Bands, the Presidents of the Employment Tribunal in England, Wales and Scotland have confirmed that new bands will only apply to any claim issued on or after 11 September 2017.

For the past several years, a typical award for injury to feelings has been around £5,000. Given the ascent of vento bands, this average is likely to increase.

New Vento Bands

Lower band: in less serious cases of discrimination, such as a one-off act of relatively minor harassment or discrimination, the tribunal can now award £800 to £8,400. Previously, this bracket fell between £600 and £6,000. Middle band: Cases which are deemed serious but do not fall into the top band, i.e. a serious one-off act of harassment or a less serious but lengthy act of discrimination, can now award between £8,400 and £25,200. Previously this category was capped between £6,000 and £18,000. Upper band: in the most serious cases, a tribunal is now able to award between £25,200 and £42,000 – previously capped at £18,000 to £30,000. These cases feature the most serious of incidents concerning discrimination, including long campaigns of harassment. Exceptional cases: have been introduced, which will award anything over £42,000. We await to see what constitutes exceptional circumstances. The Presidential Guidance on the Vento bands will be reviewed in March 2018 and then annually, with any new guidance coming into force on or around 6 April each year. What is a Vento Band? Vento bands dictate how much compensation should be awarded for injury to feelings in employment tribunal cases. This aspect of compensation does not take into account financial losses for the discrimination but compensates for the hurt and upset that the individual has suffered. The person found accountable for a case of discrimination will be responsible for paying the award. A tribunal has discretion as to what to award, and will take into account a number of factors to determine an amount, including an individual’s personal characteristics; any relevant medical condition or particular vulnerability; the actual impact of the discriminatory act or acts on the individual, and the extent to which the employer has sought to make amends.

What this means for Employers

If an employer is found guilty of discrimination, the compensation to pay for injury to feelings could be a detrimental cost for business. Considering that as of July this year, tribunal fees no longer exist to deter claims, employers must prepare for increasing claims and an increase in potential costs associated with a tribunal. Amy Paxton, Croner Employment Law Specialist, says: "In 2002, the Court of Appeal set out the Vento bands to assist tribunals in making awards for injury to feelings. "Since then, there has been a lot of uncertainty as to how those bands should be treated to take into account inflation and the current value of money.  Whilst the recent Presidential Guidance removes some of that confusion, it reiterates the need for employers to ensure that they are taking action to limit their exposure to potentially costly discrimination and whistleblowing claims. "It is important for employers to consider implementing diversity training and clear robust policies to reduce such risk."

Background

For employment tribunal claims presented on or after 11th September 2017, this guidance sets out revised Vento bands increased for inflation, and also by the 10% uplift. The Presidents say they will review and, if necessary, amend the Presidential Guidance in March 2018 and annually thereafter. Any new Presidential Guidance will come into effect in respect of claims presented on or after 6th April in each year.

Advice and Support

Croner have been supporting professionals with employment law for over 70 years. With unrivalled experience in the industry, our employment law advisors are some of the most knowledgeable professionals in their respective fields. In addition, we have a successful employment tribunal resolution rate of over 85%, assisting thousands of organisations through proceedings to ensure the best outcome. Call 0844 728 0181 to find out more about our support.

Free to Download Employer Resources

  • How to make reasonable adjustments for mental health in the workplace

    FREE DOWNLOAD

    How to make reasonable adjustments fo...

    Read more
  • Sample Health & Safety Communication and Consultation Policy

    FREE DOWNLOAD

    Sample Health & Safety Communication ...

    Download Croner's sample health & safety communication and consultation policy, here.

    Read more
  • Adverse Weather Policy

    FREE DOWNLOAD

    Adverse Weather Policy

    Here we’ve included a free sample adverse weather policy that UK business owners can refer to...

    Read more
  • World Religion Day: Your Employees' Rights at Work

    BLOG

    World Religion Day: Your Employees' R...

    Each year, thousands of businesses call Croner for advice on sensitive issues in...

    Read more
  • Conducting an Equal Pay Audit

    BLOG

    Conducting an Equal Pay Audit

    The equal pay act sets provisions for organisations to follow the same pay syste...

    Read more
  • Health & Safety Changes to Look Out For in 2019

    BLOG

    Health & Safety Changes to Look Out F...

    The news at the start of this year has been dominated by Brexit and its potentia...

    Read more
  • Solicitors Benevolent Association

    CASE STUDY

    Solicitors Benevolent Association

    “The reason for using Croner was the high-profile track record and the credibili

    Read more
  • John Taylor Hospice

    CASE STUDY

    John Taylor Hospice

    “A large number of the queries are around employment law and rights in areas suc

    Read more
  • Motorsport Industry Association

    CASE STUDY

    Motorsport Industry Association

    “I’m so happy with the service Croner provide, I’d be hard pressed to find a fau

    Read more

Ready to focus on what you do best?

Get your free consultation and speak to an expert today.