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If you are successful with a claim for civil discrimination and you choose to pursue a claim for financial compensation. You might be able to get compensation for:

  • Any financial loss suffered because of the discrimination
  • The emotional impact of the discrimination – this is legally termed an ‘injury to feelings’ award
  • Any personal injury suffered as a result of the discrimination – claims for psychiatric injury arising from the stress and upset of the discriminatory behaviour are most common.

What is an Injury to Feelings award?

Injury to Feelings is a compensation award you can claim for the emotional distress the discrimination has caused you.

Compensation for injury to feelings is split into three bands called ‘Vento bands’, based on a case called Vento v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police (2002).

The table below shows the bands with sample awards. It is important to note that each case will be dealt with and considered on its individual merit by the Court and the below is to provide the Judge with guidance only.

Band Amount Description Sample Award
Lower £900-£8,800 For less serious cases such as a one-off act

£2,500 for refusal to allow time off for ante-natal appointments

(Stranska v One Life Management Solutions Ltd (2016))

£6,000 for unjustified refusal to allow part-time working on return from maternity leave

(Griffin v Early Days UK Ltd (2016))

Middle £8,800-£26,300 For cases which are serious but don’t fall into the top band. For example, a serious one-off act of harassment or where you lost your job because of the discrimination

£16,000 for discrimination against employee with cancer when doctors said it would impact on her recovery

(Colgan v Hideaways Club UK (2015))

High £26,300-£44,000 For the most serious cases of discrimination. For example, where there’s been a length campaign of discriminatory harassment

£35,000 for race discrimination over a number of years

(Chandok v Tirkey (2015))


There are various factors which a Court will take into account when deciding how much to award for injury to feelings. These include:

  • If the discrimination was deliberate – You’ll usually get more for harassment than for unintentional discrimination, particularly indirect discrimination;
  • How serious the discrimination was and how long it lasted;
  • How the company or organisation behaved after the discrimination – If they apologised and dealt with it promptly, you’re likely to get less but if they ignored it then you’re likely to get more;
  • The effect on you – The more serious the effects and the longer they last, the more you’ll get;
  • If you needed to see your GP – This suggests a more serious injury to feelings and so potentially a higher award.

Stress Compensation


What about Personal Injury?

If you have suffered stress and distress to the extent that your mental health has suffered requiring you to seek medical advice, you may also be entitled to make a claim for psychiatric injury.

If so, you would be able to claim compensation known as general damages – this is an award of money for any injury suffered as a result of the discrimination.

Assuming that the symptoms do meet the necessary criteria for a medical expert to diagnose you with a recognised psychiatric illness, then the Court uses guidance called the Judicial Studies Board Guidelines (JCG) as a starting point which takes into account the following:

  • The injured person’s ability to cope with life and work
  • The effect on the injured person’s relationships with family, friends and those with whom he or she comes into contact
  • The extent to which treatment would be successful
  • Future vulnerability
  • Prognosis
  • Whether medical help has been sought

The relevant section of the JCG which covers claims for psychiatric injuries has four brackets of compensation, as follows:

  1. Less severe – Usually where the duration of symptoms are usually less than 12 months and the extent to which the symptoms have affected someone’s daily activities and sleep is low level (£1,440.00 – £5,500.00);
  2. Moderate – Usually where the symptoms have affected someone’s daily activities, life, work and relationships but where the medical evidence opines that good progress towards a recovery will be made by the time of Trial. The extent to which treatment will assist in the recovery of symptoms together with someone’s future vulnerability to relapse is also considered in this bracket. (£5,500.00 – £17,900.00);
  3. Moderately severe – Usually where the symptoms amount to a disability affecting someone’s life in a permanent or long-standing basis preventing a return to comparable employment. (£17,900.00 – £51,460.00);
  4. Severe – The most extreme of cases where the outlook for someone’s recovery is extremely poor (£51,460.00 – £108,620.00).

Although every claim is different, most cases of this nature fall within either the moderate or moderately severe categories.

The Court also takes into account similar cases that have been to a Trial in order to determine where within the above brackets of compensation a case, in particular, may fall.

Separately to the above, if a diagnosis of Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is made then the Court has additional guidance.

Special Damages

Secondly and in addition to general damages, you can pursue compensation known as special damages – this is an award of money for all of your out of pocket expenses such as loss of earnings, travel expenses, medication costs, treatment costs etc.

You can make a claim for both past losses and any anticipated future losses.  This list is not exhaustive and is very case-specific.

How can I find out if I am eligible to make a claim for discrimination?

We are here to help and will carry out a free assessment to see if you are eligible for a ‘No-Win, No-Fee’ Agreement with no obligation to take forward a claim.

To find out more about if you may have a claim for Public Discrimination, click here.

Oakwood Solicitors Ltd


Why choose Oakwood Solicitors Ltd to bring your claim?

From the start of your claim until the conclusion you will have a dedicated advisor who will run your claim, assisting you in the event of any queries or issues you may have. Regular updates will be provided by your case handler up until your claim has ended. This is to ensure the process is as stress-free and effortless as possible.


For advice on how to progress with a Discrimination case or to learn more about legal rights, get in touch today for a free initial consultation. Choose one of the methods on the right-hand side of this page, or call us on 0113 200 9787 to find out how we can help you.

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0113 268 0332

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