The outcomes or “remedies” listed below are available in claims where discrimination is proven. They include claims such as Victimisation, Harassment, Indirect and Direct Discrimination.
Loss of earnings
The first remedy for victims of discrimination at work is compensation for loss of earnings. They can claim compensation for the earnings lost as a result of the discrimination they have suffered. This award is made to put the Claimant in the position they would have been in had they not been discriminated against. An example could be a person dismissed for a discriminatory reason: they would be able to claim their lost earnings due to their dismissal. “Earnings” here would also include benefits in kind like a car, bonuses, health insurance or a pension.
Injury to feelings
The second financial remedy for a claim that involves discrimination is an injury to feelings award. These awards compensate the Claimant for the treatment they have received, they do not have to be based on actual “losses” (unlike the loss of earnings award). Injury to feelings awards are calculated by reference to the “Vento Bands”. These are split into three separate bands:
- The Lower Band – £900 to £8,600
Awarded in cases where the discrimination suffered is less serious or a one-off occurrence.
- The Middle Band – £8,600 to £25,700
Awarded in cases where the discrimination suffered is of a serious nature but does not warrant an award from the top band.
- The Top Band – £25,700 to £42,900
Awarded in cases where the discrimination suffered is of the most serious nature, usually when the Claimant has been subjected to numerous acts of discrimination over a long period of time. It is possible for awards to be made above this band but this is rare.
When choosing a band, the Tribunal will look into all of the relevant facts of the case in order to decide which is most appropriate and take into account the impact of the discriminatory treatment on the Claimant. The Claimant will usually indicate what they believe is the appropriate band to use – the employer will often argue for a different band. Calculating an injury to feelings award is not an exact science.
In an appropriate case an award of damages for personal injury might also be made. Typically this sort of award is made in cases where serious discrimination has caused the Claimant to suffer e.g. a nervous breakdown. There are separate “bands” to reflect injuries of different severity.
A Tribunal also has the power to make a recommendation to the Employer upon a finding of discrimination. The Tribunal can make a recommendation if it is solely for the benefit of the Claimant and on the premise that it does not put the Claimant in a better position than that of other employees working for the Respondent.