On the 1st November 2013 the Department for Business Innovation and Skills published the report of its 2013 study into The Payment of Tribunal Awards. The study made some fairly startling revelations about the high numbers of people who, having bought successful employment tribunal claims, do not receive the compensation that they are awarded. It also highlighted some interesting statistics about the nature of successful claimants.
Perhaps most surprisingly amongst the statistics within the report was the revelation that fifty per cent of all claimants who are successful at tribunal do not receive the full amount of the compensation that they are awarded.
49% of claims are paid in full
16% are paid in part
35% received nothing at all
The most common reason given by participants in the study for not receiving payment was that the respondent (employer) had become insolvent. Somewhat aggravatingly. in many cases the same employers were continuing to trade in a similar business under another name or in a different location.
People who had received help in bringing their employment tribunal claims from solicitors and other legal advisors were, overall, more likely to have received payment although the figures were still not outstanding: 58% compared to 53%.
What to do if an Employment Tribunal Claim Award remains unpaid.
If an employer or former employer does not pay the amount that you have been awarded then there are two possible steps to recover the money owed.
(i) Apply to the local county court for an enforcement order which means the court will send an enforcement officer.
(ii) Use the fast track scheme at a High Court to send a high court enforcement officer to your employer. They operate in a very similar way to a bailiffs.
Further information about the use of these methods can be found on the Government’s website: Take Your Employer to a Tribunal. The rules vary slightly in Scotland where a Sheriff Officer can help to enforce your case if you obtain an extract of the judgement from the office that heard your case.
Types of claim
The top 5 most commonly successful employment tribunal claims are
1. 73% Unlawful deductions from wages
2. 50% Breach of Contract (Constructive Dismissal)
3. 37% Unfair Dismissal
4. 28% Redundancy Pay/Consultation
5. 6% Failure to provide a written statement
The numbers do not add up to 100% in the examples above because many claimants bring employment tribunal claims on more than one ground. For example a person claiming constructive dismissal may also have a claim for unlawful deductions from wages.
Type and Size of Employer
The majority of claims which were successful were brought against micro businesses (1-9 employees) and small business (10-50 employees). This probably reflects the lack of specific human resources departments in smaller businesses and the unwillingness or inability of those who run such business to settle at an early stage in the way a larger organisation with greater financial resources at its disposal might be more able to. Of those employment tribunal claims which were successful, 93% of them were against businesses in the private sector.
Earnings of Claimants who have brought successful Employment Tribunal Claims
The outlook for those who have been obliged to take their employers to tribunals is fairly rosy in terms of picking up the pieces of their careers. Only 18% of those who brought claims were in less well paid work than they had been previously.
Having successfully brought an employment claim then the report found that
53% of claimants were earning the same as before their tribunal
18% of claimants were earning more than they were before their tribunal
18% of claimants were earning less that they were before the tribunal
If you are intending to issue a case to an employment tribunal then please do not hesitate to contact us on [phonenumber]. We can offer you free, no obligation advice about the strength of your chances of success. If we believe that you have a strong case then we may offer to represent you on a no win no fee basis.
If you need to do further research into your case then you may also find our legal research library useful.