Last Updated on 22.5.23 by Amanda Isherwood
Recently, we’ve seen headlines about a doctor receiving over £3 million in compensation after being unfairly dismissed for whistleblowing. Such staggering awards often catch the public’s eye, but what might an average claimant expect from a Tribunal claim?
Determining Your Tribunal Claim Award
The award you might receive from a successful unfair dismissal case is contingent on what you’re claiming. Typically, an award consists of two elements:
1. Basic Award
This is akin to a statutory redundancy payment. The amount you receive depends on your age at dismissal, length of service, and weekly pay, capped at £643 if the dismissal took place on or after 6 April 2023.
2. Compensatory Award
This is the employment tribunal’s way of compensating you for losses incurred due to your dismissal. As of 6 April 2023, the maximum award you can receive is a year’s gross salary, capped at £105,707.
The aim of these awards is not to penalise the respondent but to compensate you, the claimant, for your losses. As a claimant, you’re expected to mitigate your losses—take reasonable steps to find alternative work and attempt to return to the position you would’ve been in if not for your dismissal.
Additional Considerations for Tribunal Claims
In addition to the basic and compensatory awards, other factors can influence your claim:
Loss of statutory rights:
You can claim for this to compensate for having to start from scratch in building up two years of service. Claims under this head usually amount to around £400-£500.
If the respondent failed to follow the ACAS code, your compensation can be increased by up to 25% of the compensatory award. On the other hand, if you did not appeal your dismissal, your compensation can be reduced by up to 25%.
Contributions to dismissal
Your compensation can also be reduced if the Tribunal determines you contributed to your dismissal or if you would have been dismissed even if the respondent had followed a fair procedure.
How to Obtain Significant Tribunal Awards
The statutory cap of a year’s gross salary doesn’t apply to dismissals for health and safety reasons, making a protected disclosure (whistleblowing), or selection for redundancy based on these reasons. In these cases, there’s no limit to the financial loss claim.
For cases involving discrimination and whistleblowing, in addition to any financial losses (uncapped if the dismissal itself was discriminatory), you can claim non-financial losses for injury to feelings and even personal injury.
The amount awarded for injury to feelings is determined by the Vento bands, which are:
Lower band: £500 – £5,000 for less serious cases or one-off acts.
Middle band: £5,000 – £15,000 for serious cases not meriting the highest band.
Top band: £15,000 – £25,000 for the most serious cases. Only in exceptional cases would an award exceed this top band.
Average Tribunal Awards
In 2021/2022, the mean award for an unfair dismissal case was £13,541, with the highest award reaching £165,000. Discrimination cases naturally garnered higher awards, with the mean award for a disability discrimination case standing at £26,172 and the highest award at £225,893.
Expert Advice for Tribunal Claims
Navigating compensation calculations can be daunting, but sound legal advice can greatly aid in understanding what should and should not be claimed at a Tribunal.
If you wish to discuss a potential claim, its value, or if you’re an employer facing a claim and wish to minimise potential liability, our expert Employment team at Gorvins is here to help.
Get in Touch with Us
We’re committed to providing clear, pragmatic, and tailored advice to meet your specific needs. To start a conversation, call us on 0161 930 5151, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or complete our online contact form.
Whether you’re an individual seeking justice after an unfair dismissal or an employer aiming to navigate claims responsibly, our team is ready to guide you every step of the way. Together, we can navigate the complexities of employment tribunal claims and work towards the best possible outcome.
Remember, while a tribunal claim may not make you a millionaire overnight, it’s crucial to understand your rights and seek what you’re entitled to. Our dedicated team is here to support and guide you on this journey.