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Increase in compensation award levels
You may be aware from a previous newsletter article that Tribunal Fees have been scrapped so the likelihood of cases being brought by disgruntled employees has increased. It is therefore very important you take advice to make sure that you minimise the risk of this happening.

The costs of getting it wrong have also recently increased further. If an employer loses a case relating to a discrimination claim, it can be very expensive. A basic award will be made with respect to the specific findings of the case, but the Tribunal may also make an additional compensation award against the employer in respect to Injury to the feelings of the employee in question.

These compensation awards are decided according to three range bands, known as the Vento bands. The rates for these bands have remained stable for many years. However, as a result of a recent joint consultation by the Presidents of the Employment Tribunals in England & Wales and in Scotland, new Presidential Guidance has been issued which increases the bands for such claims and introduces a new level for exceptional cases:

• Lower band (for the least serious cases, e.g. a one-off or isolated incident of discrimination): £800 to £8,400;
• Middle band (which is used for serious cases that do not merit an award in the upper band): £8,400 to £25,200;
• Upper band (for the more serious cases, such as where there has been a lengthy campaign of discriminatory harassment): £25,200 to £42,000; and
• Exceptional cases: over £42,000.

These new bands apply to claims presented to the Employment Tribunal on or after 11 September 2017.

The Presidential Guidance will be reviewed every March thereafter and any changes will come into effect in respect of claims presented on or after 6 April in each year.
Posted on 02 Oct 2017

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