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Employment tribunals - compensatory award for unfair dismissal - should your compensation be increased?

When you've calculated how much your compensatory award might be, you need to think about any reasons why a tribunal might reduce it or increase it.

This page looks at the reasons why a tribunal might increase your award.

Why a tribunal might increase your compensatory award

An employment tribunal may decide to increase your compensatory award if your employer:

  • didn't follow the ACAS Code of Practice on disciplinary and grievance procedures. This doesn't apply to redundancy dismissals
  • didn't give you a written statement of your terms and conditions of employment.

If your employer didn't follow the Acas Code of Practice before they dismissed you

Your employer should follow the Acas Code of Practice on disciplinary and grievance procedures before dismissing any employee. This means they should:

  • deal with issues promptly
  • not unreasonably delay meetings, decisions or confirmation of any decisions
  • act consistently
  • carry out any necessary investigations, to establish the facts of the case
  • inform you of what the problem is and give you an opportunity to respond to the case before any decisions are made
  • allow you to be accompanied to any formal disciplinary or grievance meeting
  • allow you to appeal against any formal decision that's made.

More about the Acas Code of Practice

Compensation for your employer's failure to follow the ACAS Code of Practice

If your employer didn't follow the Acas Code, a tribunal can increase your compensatory award by up to 25 per cent.

They are likely to award you the full 25 per cent increase if your employer didn't follow any procedure at all, and can't give a good reason why not.

If your employer has followed some kind of procedure but hasn't met with all the requirements of the Acas code, they're likely to award a smaller increase. This could be between 10 per cent and 20 per cent, depending on what your employer failed to do.

This increase in compensation for not following the Code doesn't apply to redundancy dismissals.

If your employer didn't give you a written statement of your terms and conditions of employment

All employees are entitled to receive a written statement of their terms of employment. You should get this within two months of starting your job. The statement must contain certain information including:

  • the names of you and your employer
  • the date you started work
  • the amount of pay and how often you will be paid, for example, weekly or monthly
  • the hours of work
  • details of the disciplinary, dismissal and grievance procedures.

Compensation for your employer's failure to give you a written statement of your terms and conditions

If your employer didn't give you a written statement of your terms and conditions, a tribunal can award you an extra two or four weeks' gross pay in compensation. This weekly pay is worked out in the same way as for a basic award.

You can only claim this extra compensation if you haven't been given a written statement of your employment terms and if you are also bringing another claim to a tribunal. This could be for, for example, unfair dismissal or discrimination.

►More about your written statement of terms of employment

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