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Employment tribunals - valuing a claim - where to start

This advice applies to Wales

If you make a successful claim to an employment tribunal, it can award you money to compensate you for the money you are owed and/or for the behaviour you have suffered. You need to calculate how much compensation you are likely to be awarded if you were to make a claim, as this will help you decide if it is worth your while continuing with a claim or not. It is also useful to know how much compensation you may be entitled to, as this can help when you are negotiating with your employer if you are trying to settle with them for compensation without having to make a tribunal claim.

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. However, in other cases, particularly discrimination claims, the claim may be more valuable. You need to work out how much your claim is likely to be worth to decide if it is a good idea to carry on making a claim to a tribunal and paying the necessary fees. You can work out how any compensation should be calculated and identify what money you have lost as a result of your employer's action against you.

Depending on what you are claiming, a tribunal can award:

  • a fixed sum if you are claiming unfair dismissal - this is known as a basic award
  • compensation for the financial loss you have suffered if you have been unfairly dismissed. This is called a compensatory award
  • a fixed amount to represent the money you are owed by your employer for unpaid wages, holiday pay, notice pay or redundancy pay, or for an unlawful deduction from your wages
  • compensation because you have been discriminated against. This can be money to pay for any financial losses you have suffered because you have been discriminated against, injury to your feelings, personal injury, aggravated damages (in England and Wales only, aggravated damages are not available in Scotland) and interest
  • compensation if you have suffered financially because your employer has breached your employment contract. This will usually mean compensation for not being given any notice if you have been dismissed, but it could also be compensation for not being paid 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, for example, during your notice period
  • compensation if you have suffered financially because your employer has taken unfair action against you but does not go as far as dismissing you. This is known as subjecting you to a detriment. Examples of a 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 happens very rarely, or
  • recommend to your employer that you are re-employed if you have lost your job because of discrimination, although this happens very rarely, or
  • make a recommendation that your employer takes some other action, for example, to stop discrimination occurring.

Next steps

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