The next review by the Presidents of the Employment Tribunals in England & Wales, and in Scotland, of the injury to feelings award Vento bands, is due to take place in March 2018. Should it be determined that changes to the bands are required, then the Presidential Guidance will be updated, with any changes coming into effect on or after the 6th April 2018.
Background To The Injury To Feelings Award Vento Bands
The criteria for assessing compensation for injury to feelings was set out by the Court of Appeal in the case of Vento v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire (No.2) (2002), as subsequently amended, with the most recent amendments being made by Presidential Guidance in September 2017 following the Court of Appeal decision in De Souza v Vinci Construction (UK) Ltd (2017). The new uprated bands took effect on the 11th September 2017. The Presidents launched a consultation on the Vento bands on the 20th July 2017 following the ruling by the Court of Appeal in the De Souza case, in which the Court invited the Presidents to review the Vento bands to factor in both inflation and the Simmons v Castle 10% ‘uplift’.
The New Uprated Vento Bands
With effect from the 11th September 2017, there is now a top band of £42,000.00 plus for exceptionally serious cases (for cases presented before the 11th September 2017, the band is £33,000.00 plus), an upper band of £25,200.00 – £42,000.00 for serious cases (for cases presented before the 11th September 2017, the band is £19,800.00 – £33,000.00), a middle band of between £8,400.00 – £25,200.00 (for cases presented before the 11th September 2017, the band is £6,600.00 – £19,800.00), and a lower band of between £800.00 – £8,400.00 for less serious and one-off cases (for cases presented before the 11th September 2017, the band is £660.00 – £6,600.00). The Court in Vento stated that awards for less than the lower band should be avoided, and that remains the guidance.
The Annual Re-Evaluation Of The Injury To Feelings Award Vento Bands
During the post De Souza consultation on the injury to feelings award Vento bands, the Presidents determined that there was a need to re-evaluate the bands annually each March, with changes to take effect on or after the 6th April each year (to coincide with other employment law rate changes, such as the changes to the national minimum wage, etc). They stated: “The Presidents 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 6 April in each year. We recognise the need to adopt a simple and transparent method for revaluing injury to feelings awards.” Hence, with the next review due to take place next month, it is likely that the bands will be uprated again on or after the 6th April 2018.