Increase for Injury to Feelings Awards
The Presidents of the Employment Tribunals in England & Wales and Scotland have published new guidance on award levels for compensation for injury to feelings and psychiatric injury.
An injury to feelings award is made in discrimination claims to compensate for the hurt and distress an individual has suffered as a result of their employer’s discriminatory conduct. Awards for injury to feelings are compensatory, they are not punitive. Therefore, the individual should be compensated adequately, but the idea is not to punish the employer in doing so. Awards should not be too low, as that would diminish respect for the policy of anti-discriminatory legislation. On the other hand, awards should be restrained, as excessive awards could be seen as a way as amounting to a windfall.
Whilst injury to feelings awards are made in discrimination claims, they are also made in cases involving whistleblowing detriment, trade union detriment, health and safety detriment as well as a number of other types of claims.
The Courts have provided specific guidance on how Employment Tribunals should assess awards of compensation for injury to feelings and have formulated three different bands. These bands have now been marginally increased. For claims presented on or after 6 April 2021, the bands will be as follows:
- Lower band – £900 to £9,100 for less serious cases;
- Middle band– £9,100 to £27,400 for cases that do not merit an award in the upper band;
- Upper band – £27,400 to £45,600 for the most serious cases, with the most exceptional cases capable of exceeding £45,600.
To find out more information about the Tribunal’s guidance, please visit their website here.