Check what happens if you win your employment tribunal case

This advice applies to England. See advice for See advice for Northern Ireland, See advice for Scotland, See advice for Wales

You might get the tribunal’s decision about your case at the end of the hearing or they might send it to you afterwards. 

When you get the employment tribunal's decision about your case, you might want to talk about it with your adviser or representative to make sure you understand it. 

If you don't have an adviser or representative, and the judge tells you their decision at the hearing, you should ask them to explain anything you don't understand. 

You might be able to get help to understand the tribunal’s decision. If you think any part of the decision is wrong, you can check how to challenge a tribunal decision.

If the tribunal hasn’t decided what compensation or other remedy to award you, you’ll have to go back for another hearing. This is called a ‘remedy hearing’. In the meantime, you can still negotiate a settlement with your employer. 

If the tribunal decides you should get compensation

Check the tribunal has calculated your compensation correctly. If it’s wrong, you can challenge the decision. Tribunals can easily correct simple errors in adding up the figures. 

If your employer is ordered to pay compensation, they should pay you when they get the written judgment.

If they don’t pay within 14 days of the judgment, they should also pay interest on the amount they owe you. The interest rate is 8% a year. 

If you had to claim benefits because you were dismissed, your employer will have to pay the amount you got in benefits to the government. This is called ‘recoupment’. You won’t get the money until the recoupment has been calculated. 

If your employer doesn't pay you

You might be able to:

  • report your employer to the government

  • go to court

  • claim compensation from the government

If you’re claiming redundancy pay from the government, you can’t also go to court to get it. 

Reporting your employer 

You can report that your employer hasn’t paid using the form on GOV.UK

If your employer still doesn’t pay, the tribunal can fine them and put their details on a list of employers who don’t pay. This might be enough to make your employer pay you. If it isn’t the tribunal can’t force them to pay - only a court can.

Going to court

Before you take your employer to court, think about if they’re likely to be able to pay you. If they’ve closed down or have no money, you probably won’t get your money by taking them to court.

You can ask the court to collect the money from your employer - they’ll use bailiffs called ‘High Court enforcement officers’. This is called the 'Fast Track' system of enforcement. If you want to do this, you need to fill in a form on GOV.UK

You’ll have to pay fees to take your employer to court unless you have no income or a low income. You can check the fees on GOV.UK. You can check if you have to pay court fees on GOV.UK. You’ll get the fees back if the bailiffs are able to collect the money from your employer.

If the Fast Track system doesn’t work, you can check what else you can do to get the money from your employer GOV.UK.

Claiming compensation from the government

If your employer won’t pay, you might be able to claim some of your compensation from the government. 

You might be able to get compensation from the government if your employer is 'insolvent'. This means they're either:

  • a company in administration or liquidation

  • a sole trader who’s bankrupt

You can check how to find out if your employer is insolvent on GOV.UK.

You can find out more about what you can do if your employer is insolvent on GOV.UK.

If your employer isn't insolvent but the tribunal awarded you a redundancy payment, you can claim it from the government. Contact the redundancy payments helpline to claim a redundancy payment from the government

If you want to claim something other than redundancy pay, talk to an adviser

Check if you have to pay income tax on employment tribunal awards

You don’t usually have to pay tax on the first £30,000 you get as compensation for:

  • unfair dismissal

  • redundancy pay

  • discrimination - if you lost your job

  • notice pay

You’ll have to pay income tax as normal if you got compensation for unpaid wages - including unpaid holiday pay. 

Check if your tribunal award will affect your welfare benefits 

Your tribunal award might affect any benefits that depend on your income and savings - for example, Universal Credit. 

Contact the people who pay your benefits - you can find their contact details on your benefit letters. Tell them about your tribunal award and ask them how it will affect your benefits. 

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Page last reviewed on 29 September 2021