How much can I claim against my employer?


How much damages and compensation can I claim against my employer?

  • Unfair dismissal – the maximum amount is limited to £66,200. Compensation for unfair dismissal also includes an element to compensate for loss of earnings for the time between the dismissal and the tribunal decision. If you have got a new job, this element will be reduced to take account of what you are being paid. The compensation will also cover other losses, such as loss of pension rights.
  • Wrongful dismissal (and other breach of contract) claims in the tribunals, it is £25,000.
  • Discrimination claims – no upper limit and the compensation normally includes an element to cover injured feelings.

These are maximum limits however, and usually compensation awarded is well below these amounts.

You are under a duty to mitigate your losses i.e. take reasonable steps to reduce them to as low as possible. For example you cannot refuse reasonable offers of employment.

There is an upper limit on the compensation for loss of earnings, which is updated annually in line with the Retail Price Index. It is currently set at £400 a week.

Employers can be made to pay more compensation if they failed to follow the ACAS Code on Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures. Similarly, your compensation can be reduced if you unreasonably failed to co-operate and raise concerns internally in the way suggested by the ACAS Code.

Do I need to go through workplace procedures before taking a Tribunal case?

It is not compulsory to use a formal workplace procedure before bringing a claim to a tribunal. However, a tribunal can take into account a failure to follow the new ACAS Code of Practice on disciplinary and grievance procedures by either the employer or employee. If it considers the failure to be unreasonable, it can either increase or decrease any award of compensation by up to 25%.

 Can I get my job back in a dismissal case?

The tribunal can order reinstatement or re-engagement if you win a dismissal case, but this is very rarely awarded. Even when tribunals make such an order, employers commonly refuse to implement it. If your employer refuses to comply, you have to apply again to the tribunal. It will probably award you additional damages instead in such a situation.

 What if my employer refuses to pay the compensation awarded?

Sometimes employers can act childishly and try to be difficult in actually paying you the compensation awarded. For example they may not pay at all or “forget” to sign the cheque or try and pay the amount in coins (where the payment of such amount in coins would not amount to legal tender) etc.

If payment is not voluntarily forthcoming, you can register the award in the County Court and take enforcement proceedings e.g. charging order against land; send in the bailiff to seize property; issue a bankruptcy or winding up petition etc.