How much can I recover in an unfair dismissal claim?


If you are successful in your claim, an Employment Tribunal may award the following:

1) Re-instatement – you are is able to return to work in the same role (this is rarely awarded);

2) Re-engagement – you can return to work in a similar role to what you carried out before being dismissed (again this is rarely awarded);

3) Compensation – this is usually made up of a basic award and a compensatory award.

Basic award

The basic award is calculated by taking into account an employee’s age, years of service and average weekly wage. The weekly pay figure is capped at a maximum of £508 per week from 6th April 2018 and the maximum number of years’ service that will be considered is 20. The award is calculated as follows:-

Years of service below 22 years of age, the weekly pay is multiplied by 0.5

Years of service between 22 and 41, the weekly pay is multiplied by 1

Years of service from 41 onwards, the weekly pay is multiplied by 1.5

The maximum basic award is presently £15,240.

Compensatory award

The aim of the compensatory award is to compensate you for any loss of earnings and other direct losses as a result of the unfair dismissal. The award is ‘such amount as the tribunal considers just and equitable in all the circumstances’, having regard to the employee’s loss caused by the employer’s action.

There is now a statutory cap in place with a limit to the amount that can be awarded of either 52 weeks’ actual gross pay or a statutory cap of £83,682 – whichever is the lower. This is applicable from 6th April 2017.

How your compensatory award can be reduced.

You are under a duty to mitigate your loss, which means you must make reasonable attempts to find alternative employment and provide evidence that you have done so. If you do not, your award could be reduced.

If an employer can convince the tribunal that notwithstanding a defect in process (such as failure to consult on a redundancy), that you would have still been dismissed in any event, then your award could be reduced on a percentage basis. In rare cases, this could be a high percentage.

It is also possible to see a reduction in your award to take into account any contributory factors by you which led to your dismissal, such as your specific behaviour where there has been misconduct. Again, this would be on a percentage basis.

Back to Employment Law FAQ’s

Back to the main unfair dismissal page

Get in Touch