Compensation for awards in discrimination is unlimited and will normally include a sum to represent financial losses (both past and future) and an award for injury to feelings. Injury to feelings are based on Vento guidelines, and these sums are subject to regular inflationary increases.

There are a number of factors to consider in each case. These include the vulnerability of the claimant, the degree of hurt, distress or upset caused, the position of the person who was found to be discriminating and the seriousness of the treatment.

The current maximum guideline award for injury to feelings is now £42,900 for claims lodged on or after 6 April 2018, although in the most exceptional cases the sum may be more than this.  

For claims presented after 06/04/2018 the new bands are:

Lower: £900 to £8,600

An award in the lower band would be "appropriate for less serious cases, such as where the act of discrimination is an isolated or one off occurrence".

Middle: £8,600 to £25,700

An award in the middle band "should be used for serious cases, which do not merit an award in the highest band".

Upper: £25,700 to £42,900

An award in the top band would be made "in the most serious cases, such as where there has been a lengthy campaign of discriminatory harassment on the ground of sex or race". Only in "the most exceptional case" should an award for injury to feelings exceed the top of this band.


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Author: Arwen Makin

After studying law at Cambridge University, Arwen trained at leading national law firm Mills & Reeve, qualifying into their employment team in 2002. Arwen has extensive employment law experience, having advised both employers and employees on a wide range of employment issues. Prior to joining ESP she previously worked for a number of years providing advice and representation to both trade unions and their members, and has a particular expertise in the education sector. Due to her diverse experience she is ideally placed to give advice in relation to professional conduct and regulatory matters.

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