Written by Brabners LLP
The Presidents of the Employment Tribunals in England and Wales and Scotland have published their response to recent consultation that took place on proposed increases to the bands of compensation for injury to feeling awards in discrimination cases. The response confirms that, for claims pursued on or after 11 September 2017, the bands have been increased both in line with the Retail Price Index (RPI) and to include a 10% uplift. Read on for more details about the revised bands.
New and increased bands of compensation will now be used to assess compensation for injury to feelings in discrimination cases. What are the new bands then?
The new bands of compensation are broken down as follows:
- A lower band of £800-£8,400 for less serious cases of discrimination;
- A middle band of £8,400-£25,000;
- An upper band of £25,200 to £42,000 for more serious cases; and
- The most exceptional cases of discrimination now potentially exceeding £42,000.
These increased bands automatically apply to claims presented on 11 September or after. Claims issued before this date could also see an increase in compensation, with tribunals having the power to adjust the previous bands and awards for injury to feelings where cogent evidence of the change in the value of money is produced. The guidance issued sets out the method by which such an adjustment can be made.
Previous compensation bands in discrimination cases were £600-£6,000 for less serious cases, a middle band of £6,000-£18,000 and an upper band of £18,000-£30,000.
Both the consultation and the subsequent changes to discrimination compensation followed comments made in the Court of Appeal case of Pereira de Souza v Vinci Construction UK Ltd where the Court of Appeal confirmed that Presidential guidance would be beneficial to clarify the position on compensation. In that case, it was held that the 10% uplift on damages which applies in civil cases for pain, suffering and mental distress also applies to compensation for injury to feelings in discrimination cases. The increased bands now take into account inflation and the 10% uplift awarded in civil claims.
The increase in compensation inevitably results in greater potential liability for employers and other respondents in successful discrimination cases, depending on which band they fall within. With upper band cases having the potential of an award of up to £42,000, this is a steep climb from the previous upper band of up to £30,000.
Disclaimer: This bulletin is for general guidance purposes only and should not be used for any other purpose. This article is written by Brabners and reproduced with their permission. Brabners is a Limited Liability Partnership