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Employment Law

Statistics and Awards

Employment Tribunal Statistics and Awards

Although year on year applications to employment tribunals are falling, in the year ending 1 April 2012, 186,300 claims were accepted by the Tribunal. These numbers are likely to fall further with the introduction in 2013 of the two year minimum employment qualifying period for many applications.

The average time between submitting a claim and the tribunal reaching a final decision 32 weeks in 2011-2012.

The main grounds of complaints to the employment tribunal are for unfair dismissal, unauthorised wage deductions, breach of contract, breach of the working time directive and for discrimination on grounds of sex, religion, race or age.

Employment Tribunal Awards 2011-2012

The table below summarises the latest employment tribunal statistics. The very high awards for discrimination recognise that the law imposes no limit on these awards which often contain an element for future loss of earnings and pension rights.

Claim Average Award Maximum Award
Unfair Dismissal £9,133 £173,408
Race Discrimination £102,259 £4,445,023
Sex Discrimination £9,940 £89,700
Disability Discrimination £22,183 £390,871
Age Discrimination £19,327 £144,100

Unfair Dismissal

The maximum award for unfair dismissal at 1 February 2013 was £87,700 (comprising the basic award of £13,500 and the compensatory award of £74,200). After June 2013 this limit will be capped at one year’s wages or £74,200 whichever is the lower.


Cases involving discrimination can result in very large awards being made. The largest award made in 2011 was £4.4M for a doctor who was a victim of both race and sex discrimination. In January 2012 an NHS manager was awarded nearly £1M for racial discrimination and unfair dismissal. These awards are exceptional and involved significant awards for future loss of earnings.

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