Tue 26 Sep 2017

Employment Tribunal Award Statistics 2016/17

The Ministry of Justice has published its annual employment tribunal award statistics.  

Just as the Supreme Court declares employment tribunal fees unlawful, the Ministry of Justice statistics show that employment tribunal applications have increased for the second year in a row - but they are still 100,000 less than the last full year before fees were introduced.

In the year 1 April 2016 to 31 March 2017 a total of 88,476 tribunal applications were made.  This compares to 83,031 the previous year, 61,308 in 2014/15, 105,803 in 2013/14 and 191,541 claims in 2012/13. Although this is the second year in a row that there has been an increase, it is only by 5,445 and not particularly significant when looking at the overall drop in claims since fees were introduced. It will be interesting to see how significantly different next year's figures will be now that the fee regime has been withdrawn (as of July 2017).

The detail of the statistics also makes for interesting reading.  

The highest sum awarded in a tribunal claim was £1,744,575.56 and, unusually, was awarded in an unfair dismissal claim.  Usually the "honour" of the highest award goes to a discrimination claim where there is no cap on compensation. However, this award must have been made in a case where the cap does not apply (whistleblowing or dismissal for raising a health and safety issue). The statistics also show that awards were only made in 587 unfair dismissal claims, a decrease compared to the 603 awards made the previous year.

The highest award in a discrimination claim was £456,464 awarded in a race discrimination claim - a significant drop from the highest award last year which was over £1.7 million.  However, there was an increase in the number of awards made in discrimination claims from 144 last year to 158 in 2016/17.

The number of costs awards made by the tribunal in 2016/17 has fallen for the third year in a row. The number made this year was only 479, having previously fallen from 870 in 2014/15 to 658 in 2015/16. Once again more awards were made to claimants than respondents.

The maximum costs award made was £146,404 with the median award dropping by £75 to £925. 

Maximum, Median and Average Awards for Unfair Dismissal and Discrimination 2016/17


Maximum Award

Median Award

Average Award

Unfair Dismissal


£ 7,521


Race Discrimination




Sex Discrimination       




Disability Discrimination




Religious Discrimination           




Age Discrimination




Sexual Orientation Discrimination





The full report is available here

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