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How to Claim Your Money Through Unfair Dismissal Compensatory Award?

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​If you have been unfairly dismissed and you’ve been awarded compensation against your former employer, either by an Employment Tribunal or by ACAS, but you haven’t received your money. You can enforce your award to recover your money.

If a tribunal decides you’ve been unfairly dismissed, you’ll get compensation. The amount they award you is made up of |

  1. A basic award, based on the employee’s age, length of service and weekly pay and calculated in a similar way to a redundancy payment.
  2. A compensatory award, which is an amount Employment the Tribunal considers just and equitable for the loss which the employee has suffered because of the dismissal.

Unless you’re also claiming discrimination, the tribunal can’t award you compensation for stress or distress caused by being dismissed.

The tribunal cannot also award you compensation for the fees or time spent filing a claim unless they determine that your employer acted unjustly in the tribunal and that you should be awarded costs in addition to compensation.

How is Your Basic Award Calculated?

The basic award is a fixed sum calculated using a set formula |

  • Length of time you worked for your employer
  • Your age when you were dismissed
  • Your gross weekly pay on dismissal

If you worked for your employer for more than two years, you’ll receive |

  • 1.5 weeks’ pay for each complete year of employment when you were aged 41 or over
  • 1 week’s pay for each complete year of employment when you were between 22 and 40 inclusive
  • 0.5 week’s pay for each complete year of employment when you were under age 22

If you worked for your employer for less than two years in GB (or one year in Northern Ireland), you only have the right to claim for unfair dismissal if it’s for an ‘automatically unfair’ reason such as pregnancy or discrimination.

Calculating a redundancy payment is not always straightforward |

  • The maximum number of years you can include is 20 (even if you worked there for more than 20 years)
  • If you were dismissed on or after 6 April 2017, the maximum gross weekly pay you can claim is £489 in GB or £500 in NI (even if you earned more than that)
  • If you were dismissed for working as a health and safety representative or trade union representative, you’ll get a set minimum basic award

In some situations, the tribunal might reduce your basic award. For example |

  • Your employer offered your job back but you refused and the tribunal thinks it would have been reasonable for you to return
  • Where the tribunal thinks you were guilty of misconduct (such as theft, or deliberately breaching health and safety rules)
  • Where you received statutory redundancy pay

If you don’t work regular hours, talk to an adviser

You usually won’t get any basic award if you’ve worked for less than 2 years.

You’ll get a set minimum basic award if you’re dismissed for being a health and safety or trade union representative or member.

Your basic award can be reduced – for example, if you stole from your employer or put colleagues at risk by breaking health and safety rules.

Working out your compensatory award

You must calculate your weekly or monthly earnings after taxes and social security, as well as any normal overtime and bonuses. You should figure out how much you made each week if you were paid weekly. Calculate how much you made each month if you were paid monthly.

You should also figure out how much any additional benefits you received from your employer are worth. You might have, for example, |

  • pension contributions from your employer – you can find these on your payslip
  • free or subsidised accommodation – check how much you’d have to pay to rent somewhere else
  • use a company car – you can check what the loss of a company car is worth on GOV.UK
  • company medical insurance – get quotes from private insurers to check what it would cost to get the same cover yourself

Your ‘previous losses’ are the losses you’ve had up until the day you calculated them. Your ‘future losses’ are the losses you expect to incur until you find a new career.

If you’ve worked for your company for two years or longer, you can additionally claim a sum to compensate you for the fact that you’ll have to wait two years before filing an unfair dismissal claim. The amount is between £350 and £500 and is known as “compensation for loss of statutory rights.”

Check how long you can be compensated for

Once you’ve worked out how much you’ve lost each week or month, you need to multiply that by how long you’ll be out of work.

You can’t get more than a year’s gross pay and that can’t be more than £89,493 if you were dismissed on or after 6 April 2021. If you were dismissed between 6 April 2020 and 5 April 2021, it can’t be more than £88,519.

The length of time to use in your calculation will depend on whether you’ve got a new job.

If you’ve already found a new job |

If your new job pays about the same as your old one, divide the amount you calculated for weekly or monthly losses by the number of weeks or months you were unemployed.

You may be entitled to compensation if your new job pays less than your previous one. You’ll need to calculate how long it would take you to find a job that pays as much as you did before.

If your new job is temporary, you can claim compensation for |

  • the time you were looking for the job
  • time after you leave the job
  • The tribunal will decide how long to compensate you for.

If you’re still looking for work |

Multiply the number of weeks or months you think it will take you to find another job by the number of weeks or months you think it will take you to find another job.

The tribunal will require you to demonstrate that you have made reasonable attempts to find new employment. To show the tribunal, keep a list of what you’re doing to find work and a copy of all your job applications.

The tribunal will determine whether you will be out of work for a lengthy or short period of time.

The tribunal is likely to decide you’ll be out of work for a short period of time if |

  • you’ve had several jobs over the years and have always found another job relatively easily
  • you’ve never been out of work for more than a few months
  • you’ve got good references
  • you could find agency work which would pay you a similar wage to your old job
  • you can drive or have easy access to public transport and can apply for jobs further away from home

For example, taking into account the job market for the work you do and how easily you’ve found jobs in the past, the tribunal might decide you would be able to find a job in 6 months. Your compensation would be the monthly amount of money you’ve lost multiplied by 6.

The tribunal is likely to decide you’ll be out of work for a longer period of time if you can’t work because of ill health – for example, because your dismissal caused depression. They’ll also think it’ll take you longer to find work if |

  • you’re a skilled worker and there aren’t many vacancies for your type of job
  • you don’t have much work experience – for example, you’ve only had one employer or you haven’t been working long
  • your employer won’t give you a reference
  • you can only apply for certain jobs because of a disability or caring responsibilities
  • you don’t own a car and there’s no good public transport where you live

If the tribunal thinks it might take you longer to find another job, they’ll award you compensation for a longer period.

Check if your compensation could be increased |

If your employer did not follow the ACAS Code of Practice on disciplinary and grievance procedures, an employment tribunal may enhance your compensation award by 10% to 25% – this does not apply to redundancy or sickness dismissals.

If your employer failed to provide you with a written description of your terms and conditions of employment, a tribunal may award you an additional two or four weeks’ pay.

Check if your compensation could be reduced

An employment tribunal might reduce your compensatory award if |

  • you’re partly to blame for your dismissal
  • your employer didn’t follow a fair procedure when they dismissed you but could have dismissed you fairly if they’d followed the right procedure
  • you haven’t done enough to find a new job – this is called ‘mitigating your loss’
  • you couldn’t give a good reason for failing to attend any disciplinary or appeal meetings
  • you’ve been too ill to work since you were dismissed and your health problems weren’t caused by your dismissal

Check if you have to repay any welfare benefits you’ve received |

The tribunal will remove any welfare payments you received after you lost your job from your compensation. That money will have to be returned to the government by your employer.

Some benefits won’t affect your compensatory award. These include |

  • Housing Benefit or payments you’ve received to help pay your council tax
  • welfare benefits which don’t depend on your income – this includes Personal Independence Payment, Disability Living Allowance and Attendance Allowance
  • Tax Credits
  • welfare benefits you got before your dismissal or after the tribunal hearing

If you and your employer reach an agreement before the tribunal hearing, they will not be required to reimburse any welfare payments you have received. This means they’ll pay you less in total than if your claim is successful. This may persuade them to settle your claim rather than take it to court.

Showing how you calculated your compensation

You can show how you calculated your compensation in a document called a ‘schedule of loss’. A tribunal will usually ask you to prepare one.


Use Shergroup’s Enforce Your Tribunal Award or ACAS Award service if you have been awarded compensation against your former employer, either by an Employment Tribunal or by ACAS, and you haven’t received your money. Whatever the amount, and as long as the Award is not more than 6 years old, we can help you enforce, or compel payment.  You can use this service as soon as your employer defaults in making the payment.

All you have to do is upload your Award paperwork and fill in your details.  We charge just £66.00 which is the Court Fee for sealing the paperwork which gives us our authority to enforce payment.

We have already helped thousands of people to win millions of pounds in compensation, so you can be assured that you have a better chance of getting paid quickly.

Get in touch with our business solutions advisors who will guide you through our process.

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Last updated | 19 July 2023

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