Ciaran Robertson | Solicitor

Injury to Feelings on the ‘Vento’ Scale

On 20 July 2017 the Presidents of the Employment Tribunal in England & Wales and in Scotland launched a consultation on proposed changes to Employment Tribunal awards for injury to feelings and psychiatric injury following the decision of the Court of Appeal in England & Wales in De Souza v Vinci Construction (UK) Ltd [2017] EWCA Civ 879.

In Vento v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police (No. 2) [2002] EWCA Civ 1871, [2003] IRLR 102, [2003] ICR 318 the Court of Appeal in England & Wales identified three broad bands of compensation for injury to feelings awards, as distinct from compensation awards for psychiatric or similar personal injury. The lower band was set at £500 to £5,000 (less serious cases); the middle band was set at £5,000 to £15,000 (cases that did not merit an award in the upper band); and the upper band was set at £15,000 to £25,000 (the most serious cases), with the most exceptional cases capable of exceeding £25,000.

Taking inflation into account, at 4 September 2017 a lower band of £764 to £7,644 (less serious cases); a middle band of £7,644 to £22,932 (cases that did not merit an award in the upper band); and an upper band of £22,932 to £38,221 (the most serious cases) was considered, with the most exceptional cases capable of exceeding £38,221.

The English authority of Simmons v Castle 2012 held that as of April 2013 there should be an increase across the board in general damages of 10%. Therefore, this produces a lower band of £840 to £8,408 (less serious cases); a middle band of £8,408 to £25,225 (cases that did not merit an award in the upper band); and an upper band of £25,225 to £42,043 (the most serious cases), with the most exceptional cases capable of exceeding £42,043.

These awards were then rounded to the nearest £100 and so any claims presented to the Employment Tribunal will now be considered on the following scale:

  1. a lower band of £800 to £8,400 (less serious cases);
  2. a middle band of £8,400 to £25,200 (cases that did not merit an award in the upper band) and;
  3. an upper band of £25,200 to £42,000 (the most serious cases), with the most exceptional cases capable of exceeding £42,000.

The Presidents will review the Vento scale in March 2018 and annually thereafter.

Should you require further information in regards to a possible claim for injury to feelings, contact us online by clicking here or speak to a member of our specialist team on 0333 222 1855.

Ciaran Robertson

Ciaran Robertson

Employment Law Team

“My passion has always been for Employment Law and I am grateful to be in a position in which I can focus entirely on this field.”

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