Last week the Ministry of Justice published its report on employment tribunal and Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) statistics for the year April 1 2011 to March 31 2012, including details of compensation awards for successful unfair dismissal and discrimination claims.
The figures show that 186,300 tribunal claims were brought during the year, which is a 15 percent decrease on the previous year and a 21 percent fall on 2009-10. During 2011-12, 59,200 single claims and 127,100 multiple claims were accepted, which were decreases of 2 percent and 19 percent respectively.
According to the statistics the median compensation payout for unfair dismissal was £4,560, with only 2 percent of unfair dismissal awards exceeding £50,000.
Some discrimination awards were significantly higher than £50,000, with £390,871 being paid out for one disability discrimination case, while in the case of Dr Eva Michalak, who took Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust to court for sex discrimination, race discrimination and unfair dismissal, the award was £4,445,023.
Comparing the year ending 31 March 2012 with the year before, the number of cases brought in some of the main employment tribunal jurisdictions has fallen. Unfair dismissal cases were down from 47,900 to 46,300, breach of contract down from 34,600 to 32,100 and equal pay down from 34,600 to 28,800
But the number of claims for failure to inform and consult in a transfer of undertaking (TUPE) situation has risen, up from 1,900 in 2010/11 to 2,600 in 2011/12.
The statistics rather undermine the Government’s proposal to reduce the cap on unfair dismissal awards from £72,300, as only 2 percent of awards made by tribunals exceed £50,000 and only 11 percent are over £20,000.
Mackrell Turner Garrett Solicitors in London
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