Labour Research December 2016

Law Queries

Tribunal awards

Q. Are Employment Tribunal awards subject to any kind of limit?

A. There are statutory limits to the level of award employment tribunals can make for certain types of claim.

For example, the maximum basic award for an unfair dismissal claim and statutory redundancy payment is £14,370. When calculating the basic award/statutory redundancy payment, a week’s pay is subject to a cap of £479. The maximum compensatory award for unfair dismissal is £78,962. 

When contract claims are brought in the employment tribunal, the maximum possible compensation available is £25,000. However, there is no cap on awards for discrimination claims. The compensation limits change in April each year. 

Each year the Ministry of Justice publishes employment tribunal statistics which give the maximum, median and average awards for tribunal claims. The median figure provides the “middle value”. 

In 2015-16, the maximum award for an unfair dismissal claim was £470,865. However, the median was £7,332 and the average was £13,851. For sex discrimination claims, the maximum award was £1,762,139, the median £13,500 and the average £85,622. Disability discrimination claims saw a £257,127 maximum, a median of £11,309 and an average of £21,729. And the maximum award for sexual orientation discrimination was £20,192, the median £20,192 and the average £20,192.