Remedies Open to an Individual Claimant

[Updated 31/03/2022 – re Increases to Compensation and Tribunal Awards from 6th April 2022]
[New content also added 09/04/2022].

This topic notes the less known awards that may be sought by an individual(s).

Rates shown apply to the 2022-2023 tax year; figures in brackets are for the previous year.

Many of the sections on Key HR Facts make reference to the remedy or award available.

Another section notes the fines and other issues about which a Tribunal may decide to make an order. The latter however do not generally lead to an increase in compensation for the employee as such fines are often paid to the Government.

ACAS Code – Breaches of Principles

If an employer breaches an ACAS Code, this may lead to increased compensation for an employee. For example, when an employer fails to hold a disciplinary investigation or an appeal hearing.

Such an award only arises if a Tribunal decides, for example, that the employer has not allowed an appeal against a dismissal which is a breach of the ACAS code by the Employer. In such an instance, the Tribunal may increase the compensation awarded to the Claimant by 25%.

Note that an employee may incur a 25% reduction of the total award if the employee is found by the Tribunal to have made an unreasonable breach of an ACAS Code.

The above does not apply to redundancies nor to the expiry of or non renewal of a fixed term contract.

Accompanied to Formal Meetings ~/

An individual has the right to be accompanied to a disciplinary or grievance hearing or a statutory request for flexible working.  The law defines a companion as a TU representative or a colleague from the individual’s workplace. 

Failure to allow an employee to be accompanied  = award up to £1,142  (£1,088).

TIP – Managers may wish to allow a vulnerable person to be accompanied by a friend or relative to help to ensure the individual has the opportunity to explain his/her facts about the issuesn nder consideration.  

Breach of Contract ~

Maximum award by an Employment Tribunal = £25,000.
Higher Awards may be made for claims brought in the High or County Court.

Failure to Agree a Flexible Working Request ~/

A Tribunal may Order:

  • Reconsideration of the request and/or;
  • Compensation up to 8 weeks of pay – £4,568 (£4,352)

Injury to Feelings/Psychiatric Injury ~/

In claims regarding discrimination or whistleblowing, a claimant may request additional compensation under what is known as the Vento Bands. The bands are ranges setting out the minimum and maximum award for each band for which a Tribunal may be asked to make an order.

  • Less serious cases – a lower band of £990 to £9,900;
  • Middle band of £9,900 to £29,600 – cases that do not merit an award in the upper band;
  • Upper band of £29,600 to £49,300 – the most serious cases.

In the most exceptional cases, an award may be made in excess of the Upper Band i.e. over £49,300.

For more details of what types of acts or omissions fall within the Vento Bands see the original judgement from which the bands are derived in the case of De Souza v Vinci Construction (UK) Ltd [2017] EWCA Civ 879.

Note: the ranges in the bands above apply to claims presented from 6th April 2022; lower rates apply to cases presented earlier.

Trade Union Membership Issues ~/

A Tribunal may award compensation to an individual for the following action by a Trade Union.

Black Listing a Member

An award may be made if the results of such an action are proven; the range will be between £5,000 – £17,130 (£5,000 – £16,320).

Unjustified Exclusion or Expulsion ~

Unjustifiable Discipline by a Trade Union of a Member

Note: The two grounds above can be made as separate claims but only one amount of compensation will be awarded within the range of £10,628 (£10,152) and £111,008 (£105,813).

Unlawful inducement re Membership, TU activities or Collective Bargaining –

A mandatory minimum amount must be awarded – £4,554  (£4,341).

Unfair Dismissal – Compensation ~/

[Editor’s note a new secton on Unfair Dismissal will be published in the next few weeks].

There is a range of headings under which a Tribunal may order compensation for particular losses of earnings or rights. The amounts are noted under the relevant sections

The compensation will need to be set out under various headings in a document known as the Schedule of Loss. That may include some or all of the following headings of loss or compensation but it will depend on the nature of the case. The amounts are noted in other sections of Key HR Facts.

  • Basic award – calculated similar to redundancy pay = maximum £17,130 (£16,320)
    Beware of loose talk about the amount of compensation as many cases result in modest sums only. A case will depend on the facts that can be proven or give the Tribunal grounds for believing the employee’s or the employer’s case and various factors govening the remedies available in law.
  • Compensatory award – this will usually contain a range of headings to match the nature of the case, for example: loss of earnings, loss of pension contributions, loss of future earnings, loss of statutory right if the employee had accrued 2 years service in the last job), injury to feelings and so on.
  • Additonal award – only awarded in particular circumstances such as a failure to:reinstate or re-engage the employee if ordered to do so in an unfair dismissal; failure to consider a flexible working request or a failure to inform or consult on a TUPE transfer.

Within the headings, a reduction should be given for any sums received that have reduced the loss. Proof for many of the headings will be required.

Employees should also note that if they have been receiving Social Security benefits, the DWP may be entitled to seek recovery of certain amounts if compensation i received by an individual. Recovery of sums is usually dealt with between the DWP and the Tribunal Office.

Automatic Unfair Dismissal

There are some reasons for dismissal which are regarded as an Automatic Unfair Dismissal. Those may lead to a minimum basic award of £6,959 (£6,634) but the maximum basic award will be the same as the Basic Award above.

Written Particulars of Employment – Incorrect or None Provided ~/

Award – a failure ato provide a statement alone does not entitle a Claimant to compensation but it may do if there is also another breach of an employment right as then a failure to prvide particulars may result in additional compensation of:

2 weeks pay £1,142 (£1,088) or, if just and equitable, 4 weeks pay  £2,284 (£2,176). for not giving a statement of particulars of employment..