Presidents propose uplift of the Vento Bands

In July 2017 the presidents of the Employment Tribunals issued a joint judicial consultation on the proposed changes to the Vento guidelines.

Background

The Vento Bands were established in the Court of Appeal case, Vento v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police. Three bands of compensation for injury to feelings awards to be were identified as follows:

  • Less serious cases (lower band) – £500 - £5,000
  • Serious cases (middle band) - £5,000 - £15,000
  • Most serious cases (upper band) - £15,000 - £25,000, with exceptional serious cases exceeding £25,000.

There was then a 20% uplift to the bands (in line with inflation in 2009) by the Employment Appeal Tribunal in Da’Bell v NSPCC and it was advised that Tribunals could adjust the bands in individual cases where there is ‘cogent evidence’ of rate change in the value of money.

Future uplift

The recent judicial consultation intends to bring clarification following the Court of Appeal’s ruling in Pereira de Souza v Vinci Construction UK Ltd that the 10% uplift to general damages in civil claims for matters such as pain and suffering or mental distress (the Simmons v Castle uplift) should correspond to injury to feelings in awards from the Tribunal.

The Presidential Guidance considers adjustment to the Vento figures for inflation. It seeks confirmation whether this is the correct measure to be applied, especially as it is used for assessment of general damages in personal injury cases.

The Guidance states that the new bands would apply to any claim presented on or after the date of its publication and the bands would then be uprated every 12 months thereafter without further consultation and based upon the most recent RPI value available. The bands would be rounded up or down to the nearest £1,000.

The Presidents are seeking responses by Friday, 25 August 2017 on whether RPI is the appropriate index in connection with uprating of awards and a stance on the proposed approach of the Vento bands.

An uplift of the Vento bands will in no doubt encourage early settlement, and employers should consider Settlement Agreements as an alternative to Tribunal proceedings, especially in less serious cases as the recent UNISON fees ruling means more claims are likely to be brought.

CONTACT CHRIS

If you would like more information or advice relating to this article or an Employment law matter, please do not hesitate to contact Chris Cook on 01727 798089.

© SA LAW 2018

Every care is taken in the preparation of our articles. However, no responsibility can be accepted to any person who acts on the basis of information contained in them alone. You are recommended to obtain specific advice in respect of individual cases.
The team at SA Law LLP has ‘excellent knowledge of employment law’. Practice head Chris Cook is recommended.
The Legal 500
Banner Work Life red mug and glasses
Stained glass window
Views & Insight
Getting to the meat of employee choice

Companies must be made aware of discrimination laws when dictating what workers can and can't do, says Keely Rushmore, Partner at SA Law.

Read More
Stained glass window
Views & Insight
Worker versus Self-Employed

The Gig economy makes more headlines as The Supreme Court agree Mr Smith was a worker and Pimlico plumbers had fallen foul of employment rights.

Read More
Stained glass window
Views & Insight
Reality TV and the protection of stars' welfare

Head of Employment at SA Law, Chris Cook comments in The Daily Star on the increasing pressure for production companies to ensure the welfare of contestants.

Read More
Chris Cook handles the full range of employment law for both individuals and organisations. He receives particular recognition for his strong TUPE expertise.…
Chambers & Partners
Phone Box with Man in a Bowler Hat
Stained glass window
Views & Insight
The Government's guidance on The Trade Union Act 2016

How should employers' implement the Trade Union Act 2016? Head of Employment at SA Law, Chris Cook explains.

Read More
Stained glass window
Views & Insight
Dress codes and sex discrimination - The Government's response

Read Head of Employment, Chris Cook's analysis of the Government's response to the 2015 Nicola Thorp "wear heels or go home" controversy.

Read More
Stained glass window
Views & Insight
To ban, or not to ban social media? That is the question

Employment Partner, Keely Rushmore writes for City A.M.

Read More
Stained glass window
Views & Insight
Reading Borough Council v James and Others

Head of Employment, Chris Cook discusses a recent case and gives some advice about how employers can avoid unlawful sex discrimination.

Read More
Stained glass window
Views & Insight
Managing your team during the 2018 FIFA World Cup

With the World Cup underway, we've produced some tips to help you manage your team during this years' Tournament.

Read More