May 14, 2019
Unfair dismissal compensation is limited to financial losses and is usually capped at a year’s salary. However, in discrimination claims, an employee can also be compensated for non-financial losses including an “injury to feelings” award, i.e. for mental or emotional injury. In a case called Vento v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police in 2003, the Courts set down guidelines or “bands” for the amount of compensation to be awarded for injured feelings.
Since the Vento Bands are subject to annual inflationary increases, new Vento Bands now apply to discrimination claims issued on or after 6 April 2019. The new bands are:
lower band (for less serious cases): £900 to £8,800;
middle band (for serious cases) £8,800 to £26,300; and
top band (for very serious cases): £26,300 to £44,000.
In very exceptional cases, the £44,000 limit may even be exceeded.
In addition to injury to feelings awards, employees can also recover compensation for any loss of earnings they suffer as a result of acts of discrimination – e.g. when they lose their job or have to take long-term sick leave. Unlike in unfair dismissal cases, there is no total cap on compensation so it can reach hundreds of thousands of pounds or more in particularly serious cases of discrimination.
In order to avoid facing this type of claim, it is important for employers to try to prevent discrimination in the workplace and address such complaints swiftly if they do arise. Some of the ways in which they can do this are as follows:
Ensure that they have a written grievance procedure in place which sets out how their employees can make complaints about workplace discrimination.
Train their employees on how they can raise a grievance, how their complaint will be dealt with and investigated, and the possible disciplinary action which may result from acts of discrimination.
Make sure their managers are given equality and diversity training.
Treat all complaints of discrimination seriously, even if they have only been raised informally.
Regularly review their policies and procedures to ensure they do not indirectly discriminate against any employees with protected characteristics.
I have worked with Darwin Gray for a number of years and the level of service, professionalism and timely response is second to none. I would highly recommend Darwin Gray to any business.”
Darwin Gray have provided us with a first-class service for many years now. They really take the time to understand our business and develop relationships which results in advice and support that is contextualised and effective.”
We have worked with Darwin Gray for several years and have always found their services and advice to be first class.”
An extremely professional and sincere company who make time for your queries and understand the need to break down certain facts and information to ensure everything is understood perfectly. I would highly recommend the company to anyone looking for any type of legal advice”
PSS has worked with Darwin Gray for many years. We have always received an excellent service. Prompt and professional advice and support.”
We have used several departments within DG recently and we have been very pleased with an effective, efficient and down to earth service. Very happy thus far and I expect that we will continue to use DG.”
Darwin Gray offer us truly superb services. Very professional, quick and services available bilingually which is very important to us, highly recommend.”
My “go to” in urgent and time sensitive cases for direction, support and advice. The team are quick to respond to calls or emails for advice and support on all matters. Always explain complex matters in a way a lay person can easily understand.”