An employment tribunal is a court of law and considers employment-related claims including:
- Unfair dismissal
- Breach of contract
- Unlawful deduction of wages
According to latest statistics around 200,000 claims are submitted each year. Unfair dismissal is one of the most common claims and of those proceeding to a hearing, around 40% of unfair dismissal claims are successful.
Awards are made up of a basic award, which is equivalent to statutory redundancy pay and a compensatory award, which takes in to account future loss.
Average awards for the period April 2012 to March 2013 were as follows:
Type of claim
Since July 2013 claimants have been required to pay an application fee of between £160 and £250 and a hearing fee of between £230 and £950. People on benefits or low income may receive a discount or have the fee waived.
A fair proportion of claims never reach a tribunal hearing as the employer chooses to make what is called a “commercial settlement” to avoid rising legal fees and management time. The factors normally taken in to account when deciding on whether to pursue a commercial settlement are
- Likelihood of success at the tribunal
- Internal perception and precedent setting
- External perception
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