If you win a discrimination claim, an Employment Tribunal can award you compensation for “injury to feelings” as well as for your financial losses such as income or pay you are owed. This means you receive compensation for the upset, hurt and distress the discrimination has caused you.

How much will an  Employment Tribunal give you for injury to feelings?

Tribunals use guidelines called the Vento guidelines to decide how much they should award. The guidelines are split into three bands depending on how serious the injury to feelings is. They usually change each year. For claims presented after 6th April 2018, these are:

  • The top band

The Tribunal can award between £25,700 and £42,900  in the most serious cases of discrimination. This could be, for example, where you’ve suffered a long campaign of discrimination or harassment.

  • The middle band

The Tribunal can award between £8,600 and £25,700  in cases which are serious but don’t fall into the top band. They might include a serious one-off act of harassment or a lengthy but less serious act of discrimination.

  • The lower band

The Tribunal can award between £900 and £8,600 for a one-off act of relatively minor harassment or discrimination.

What affects how much compensation a Tribunal will give for injury to feelings?

The award is to compensate you for the way your feelings have been hurt. The compensation isn’t to punish your employer for the way they were treating you.

The Tribunal have to take the Vento guidelines into account, but it’s important for you to give evidence to the Tribunal about:

  • what happened
  • how the treatment affected you
  • how the treatment made you feel.

Medical professionals, family and friends may also be able to provide evidence to support your claim.

Are you particularly vulnerable?

If you’re particularly vulnerable, you might be affected more than someone else. If so, you would be able to ask for a higher amount for injury to feelings.

A Tribunal may consider you to be particularly vulnerable if, for example, you already had a stress-related illness when you experienced the discrimination, or you’re pregnant or disabled.

Physical injuries and discrimination

Sometimes discrimination can go beyond upset and injury to feelings and cause actual injury to your mental or physical state. This is known as a personal injury.

Tribunals can award compensation for personal injury in some circumstances. It is not unusual for the award to fall in the top band of the Vento guidelines. There is sometimes a fine line between serious injury to feelings and injury to your mental health. It is likely you will need to provide detailed medical evidence to support your claim.

Find out more about discrimination on the grounds of: