D-BRIEF – Employment & Pensions Blog: Increase in the Vento Bands

Compensation awarded in discrimination claims can come under a number of different heads of loss. Unlike unfair dismissal compensation which is limited to financial loss, discrimination compensation can also cover non-financial losses. The Equality Act 2010 provides that compensation for discrimination may include compensation for injured feelings.

When considering the amount to award for injury to feelings, the Tribunal will assess the facts of the case against the “Vento Bands” established by the Court of Appeal in the leading case of Vento v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police as set out below:

  • The lower band: “appropriate for less serious cases, such as where the act of discrimination is an isolated or one-off occurrence”
  • The middle band: “serious cases, which do not merit an award in the highest band”
  • The top band: “the most serious cases, such as where there has been a lengthy campaign of discriminatory harassment on the ground of sex or race”

The Court of Appeal held that only in “the most exceptional case” should an award for injury to feelings exceed the top of this band. The value of the bands increase each year in line with inflation.

Last week, the President of the Employment Tribunals announced that in respect of claims presented on or after 6 April 2020, the Vento Bands will increase as follows:

  • Lower band: £900 to £9,000
  • Middle band: £9,000 to £27,000
  • Upper band: £27,000 to £45,000


As ever, the Devonshires Employment team is able to advise on both the merits and quantum of a discrimination case to help you understand your exposure and if appropriate, alternative options. If you need any help in understanding the likely band a discrimination claim may fall, then please contact a member of our Employment, Human Resources & Pensions Team or call 0207 880 4263.

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