Employment Tribunal Awards
Any time an employer has to go to the employment tribunal it is going to be expensive, the cost of litigation is seldom recoverable even on the very odd occasions that it is awarded when an employer wins his case. Win or lose the employer is likely to be out of pocket.
Average awards for unfair dismissal claims are around £8,000 if the employee wins, however since the introduction of fees and the 2 year jurisdiction rule, many claimants have added discrimination claims to try their luck at a bigger payout.
Ordinarily an employee must work continuously for 2 years with the same employer before they are able to take a claim of unfair dismissal to the tribunal, the potential employment tribunal award is also capped at a years salary or £78,962, whichever is the lesser amount. However, if a discrimination claim is added, the 2 year rule falls away and the employment tribunal awards become uncapped.
While average employment tribunal awards are much lower than those I am about to illustrate, they are still very expensive and sometimes enough to put business in jeopardy.
High Awards from the last two years
The NHS was hit pretty hard with 3 exceptional cases costing them almost £500,000, this is on top of their “run of the mill” matters. The police paid out almost as much on just 2 cases, Purple Parking paid out £700,000 for age discrimination cases, while BAE Systems were ordered to pay a secretary £360,179, for her discrimination and unfair dismissal claims. I could, of course, go on forever as there have been quite a few payouts of over £100K in the last couple of years.
Huge pay outs like this garner publicity and then increase the expectation of the next claimant, this can, in some cases, make it very difficult to negotiate an early settlement. It certainly makes it difficult to manage a claimant’s expectations.
Average Employment Tribunal Awards
Average employment tribunal awards for the 2014/5 year were: £1,080 for religious discrimination, £13,500 for sex discrimination, £8,025 for disability discrimination and £7,500 for age discrimination. As you can see these may be a lot less that the awards above, but they would still be a considerable burden to the business.
The best way to avoid having to pay out huge sums as employment tribunal awards is to take advice early and make sure that matters don’t escalate. The employment law experts at Premier Legal can advise on all elements of HR and employment law, they can also provide a comprehensive insurance package that takes away the worry of employment tribunal awards completely.
Call Premier Legal on: 0845 070 0505 or at the Head Office in Nottingham on: 0115 988 6211