The bands according to which compensation for injury to feelings awards are calculated have been revised and the Presidents of the Employment Tribunals have issued Presidential Guidance.
In July, the Presidents of the Employment Tribunals in England and Wales and Scotland issued a joint consultation statement seeking views on new increased bands for injury to feelings in discrimination claims. The response to the consultation has been published, and joint Presidential Guidance has been issued which will apply to all claims presented on or after 11 September 2017. The new bands are:
A lower band of £800 to £8,400.
A middle band of £8,400 to £25,200.
An upper band of £25,200 to £42,000, with the most exceptional of cases exceeding £42,000.
These bands take account of inflation, the uplift required following the case of Simmons v Castle, and the question of rounding figures up or down to the nearest £100.
The EAT has stated that it is open to the parties and tribunals to adjust the bands and awards for injury to feelings where there is cogent evidence of the rate of change in the value of money.
These bands will be reviewed and, if necessary, amended in March 2018 and annually thereafter, with any new bands coming into effect in respect of claims presented on or after 6 April each year.
What does this mean for employers?
Losing a discrimination claim will now be more expensive for employers. Any employers who are defending discrimination claims which were presented after 11 September 2017 should take the increased bands into account when considering their potential liability.