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Can The Cost Of An Employment Tribunal Damage Your Business?

If an employer is unsuccessful at an employment tribunal, the amount they must pay-out can be very large and have a significant impact on the business. The compensation paid to the claimant can run into millions of pounds and for a lot of cases there is no limit.

An example of a case with a large pay-out was Ms N Williams v Ministry of Defence, a former RAF nurse at Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital bought a claim for sex discrimination against the ministry of defence over her non-promotion and she was awarded £557,039. The employment tribunal concluded that the ministry of defences tactic to promotion was more in favour of male officers over female officers.

A recent cap was introduced for unfair dismissal so if you were dismissed on or after 6th April 2019 the maximum that can be awarded is £86,444. 

Employment Tribunal Awards

Costs for different claims can vary but generally pay-outs are all extremely high. The table below shows employment tribunal awards for unfair dismissal, disability discrimination, race discrimination, sex discrimination, sexual orientation discrimination, age discrimination and religion or belief discrimination.

  Average Award for 2017/2018 Highest Award for 2017/2018 Current Potential Maximum Award
Unfair Dismissal £15,007 £415,227 £86,444
Disability Discrimination £30,698 £242,130 Unlimited
Race Discrimination £24,322 £124,979 Unlimited
Sex Discrimination £13,212 £36,616 Unlimited
Sexual Orientation Discrimination £12,550 £24,100 Unlimited
Age Discrimination £6,796 £10,432 Unlimited
Religion Discrimination £5,074 £6,846 Unlimited

The UK Supreme Court abolished tribunal fees in July 2017 and Employment Tribunal claims have continued to increase quarter on quarter.

Given the rapid increase in the amount of complaints to Employment Tribunals employers need to ensure now more than ever that their policies and procedures are legally compliant and making sure that the correct procedures are followed through with having regards to current legislation.

Employers need to consider not only the legal fees and the risk of being unsuccessful in litigation but also the management and HR time spent in defending claims which can also be very costly.

Are You Facing An Employment Tribunal?

We understand that dealing with employment disputes can be difficult, so our experts can help you each step of the way.

If you need help regarding an employment tribunal, or would like advice on how to deal with an employee dispute and prevent an employment tribunal, please do not hesitate to contact me on 0113 350 4030 or at emma.roberts@scesolicitors.co.uk.

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SCE Solicitors is a boutique employment law and litigation practice based in Leeds which advises clients nationwide. Please note that the information in this blog is to provide information of general interest in a summary manner and should not be construed as individual legal advice. Readers should consult with SCE Solicitors or other professional counsel before acting on the information contained here.

Emma Roberts
Latest posts by Emma Roberts (see all)
Emma Roberts

Emma is a trainee solicitor at SCE Solicitors. Emma commenced her training contract in September 2018 and is currently working in the employment law department assisting director Samira Cakali. Emma also assists in the running of the firm’s myHR service where she can support you in the day-to-day management of your staff.

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