Vento Bands 2023 Update

The March 2023 addition to the Presidential Guidance announced an update to the current Vento bands. Vento bands are a set of guidelines that UK Tribunals use to determine how much injury to feelings compensation needs to be awarded.

“Injury to feelings” determines how much non-financial damage a victim has faced in employment law claims like unfair dismissal, breach of contract or redundancy. The Tribunal assesses how much emotional damage such as stress, mental anguish, frustration, and even depression, the incident has caused.

These bands came about after the landmark case Vento v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire where the court created three “bands” of compensations for varying degrees of case severity.

What Were the Previous Bands?

Back in April 2021, the bands were first introduced to create a balance between crime and punishment while keeping in mind the economy. A maximum and a minimum amount were set in each band which the Tribunal referred to when needed. These were the rates in 2021:

  1. First band – for cases that were less serious, the amount was set between £900-£9100. Cases that involved crimes like verbal harassment (that had minimal damage) were part of this band.
  2. Second Band – for cases that were more serious than the first band, the amount was £9,100-£27,400. These were usually awarded to cases involving moderate or ongoing abuse.
  3. Third band – for most serious cases, the amount set was between £27,400-£45.600. Cases where the victim suffered for a long period of time or where they had significant damages were left for this band.

Updated Vento Bands

In their recent addendum, the Presidents of the Employment Tribunal have confirmed that the Vento band rates will be increasing. They mentioned that cases coming on or after 06 April 2023 will be categorized into the following new bands:

  1. Lower Band – the amount set is between £1,100 – £11,200
  2. Middle Band – the amount set is between £11,200 – £33,700
  3. Upper Band – the amount set is between £33,700 – £56,200

In addition to these three bands, the Presidents have added an additional award of over £56,200 for the most exceptional cases.

What Does This Mean for Employers?

Vento bands are just one of the things that employers need to keep in mind when trying to lower discrimination or harassment in the workplace. With its increasing rates, more training is needed to be put in place to create not just a positive environment but eliminate the possibility of non-inclusive behaviour.

Most workplaces already have diversity and inclusion policies and procedures to prevent harassment in place. However, with additional training, they would be able to avoid the possibility of paying high compensation fees should an incident ever occur. This is the best time for the UK workforce to emphasise the need for better policies and make the work environment a safe space for everyone.

Do the Vento Bands Affect Employees?

Like every other policy that prevents harassment and discrimination, employees can place their faith in these bands as it will push their employers to create a more inclusive environment. Moreover, it is a positive way to show the UK workforce that pressing concerns such as the gender pay gap and sexual harassment are not being taken lightly. The increase in Vento band rates proves that discriminatory or non-inclusive behaviour will not be tolerated.