The most recent Ministry of Justice Employment Tribunal statistics show that the average compensation payout for unfair dismissal is just £4,560 and only 2% of unfair dismissal awards exceed £50,000.

So despite Business Secretary Vince Cable’s plans to lower the cap on unfair dismissal awards, these new statistics show that very few awards reach the existing cap of £72,300.

Following these new figures, XpertHR Senior Employment Law Editor, Stephen Simpson, said:

“These statistics highlight again that the small number of big payouts that grab the headlines are atypical. They don’t support the Government’s plan for the unfair dismissal compensation cap to be reduced, or the even more radical suggestion from some business groups that there should be a maximum award payable for discrimination.

“Tribunals rarely give out awards of more than a few thousand pounds and, even when the employer or a member of its staff acts in a disgraceful manner, compensation is unlikely to surpass £20,000. For example, in the recent pregnancy discrimination case of Stone v. Ramsay Health Care UK Operations Ltd in which the employee was given work just two days after she gave birth, the Tribunal gave the claimant just £18,000.”

During the period from 1 April 2010 to 31 March 2012, there were 186,300 Employment Tribunal claims, which is a 15% decrease on the figures from the previous year.

During 2011-12, 59,200 single claims and 127,100 multiple claims were accepted, falls of 2% and 19% respectively.