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How costly can an employment tribunal be?

Updated: Feb 16

Many employers worry about being taken to a tribunal and it’s a sensible option to plan ahead for the eventuality. A little research into average awards for various categories of Tribunal judgments reveals the following figures for 2018/19:

Unfair Dismissal £13,704

Race Discrimination £12,487

Sex Discrimination £8,774

Disability Discrimination £28,371

Religious Discrimination £4,767

Age Discrimination £26,148

These figures have almost certainly been affected by the abolition of tribunal fees in July 2017, which has resulted in a large number of low value claims pushing down the averages.

Nevertheless, they are substantial sums and could cause problems for a small business struggling to keep its head above water financially.

However, even a larger company that had prepared for awards at about the average could find the following awards a catastrophe that might be the finish of them.

  • Whitlock v Order of St John Care Trust (2018) £58,685.74

  • Purnell v Edinburgh Mela (2016) 67,000

  • Massamba v IKB Travel (2017) 84,000

  • Flemming v East of England Ambulance Service (2016) 96,000

  • Carrabyne v DWP (2017) £110,165.14

  • Nutt v SSE (2015) £230,000

  • McBride v Scottish Police Authority (2016) £415,227

  • Hastings v Kings College Hospital Foundation Trust (2016) £1000,000

If you find yourself involved in an Employment Tribunal, it is vital that you get legal representation as soon as possible to avoid inadvertently making your position worse. It's also worth noting that with timely legal advice and guidance, you may be able to take steps that will avoid a tribunal case arising at all.


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