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Employment tribunals - valuing a claim - where to start

This advice applies to Scotland

If you make a successful claim to an employment tribunal, it can award you money to compensate for your employer's behaviour or the money you're owed.

Before you make a claim, it's worth calculating how much compensation you're likely to get. This will help you decide if it's worth making your claim. Knowing how much you might get from a tribunal is also useful when negotiating with your employer.

What can a tribunal award you if you win?

There are limitations on what a tribunal can award, particularly if you are claiming a sum of money such as unpaid holiday pay or notice pay. In some cases, particularly discrimination claims, the claim may be more valuable. 

Depending on what you're claiming, a tribunal can award:

  • a fixed sum if you're claiming unfair dismissal - this is known as a basic award
  • compensation for the financial loss you've suffered if you've been unfairly dismissed - called a compensatory award
  • a fixed amount to represent the money you're owed for unpaid wages, holiday pay, notice pay or redundancy pay, or for an unlawful deduction from your wages
  • compensation because you've been discriminated against - whether for financial losses, injury to your feelings, personal injury, aggravated damages (in England and Wales only) or interest
  • compensation if you've suffered financially because your employer has breached your employment contract. This will usually mean compensation for not being given any notice if you've been dismissed, but it could also be compensation for not being given pay in lieu of notice, or compensation if your employer takes away your company phone or car early if your contract says you are allowed to keep it in your notice period
  • compensation if you've suffered financially because your employer has taken unfair action against you but hasn't dismissed you. This is known as detriment. Examples of detriment include refusing you access to training or refusing to promote you because, for example, you belong to a trade union.

An employment tribunal can also:

  • order your employer to re-employ you if you have been unfairly dismissed, though this is very rare
  • recommend that your employer re-employ you if you've lost your job because of discrimination, though this is very rare
  • recommend that your employer takes some other action, for example to stop discrimination occurring

Next steps

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