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What's it regarding?

A Claimant at an Employment Tribunal might be reinstated, but in most cases the remedy is compensation. Compensation in an employment tribunal claim means payment for financial losses. This usually means loss of:-

  • wages, pension, bonus,
  • company benefits such as private healthcare or childcare vouchers
  • company car.

Except in cases of discrimination, financial loss does not include compensation for the emotional upheaval of losing a job. Nor does it compensate for debts or other financial hardship which often result from loss of wages.

I’ve won my case, how much compensation will I get?

Something Claimants often don’t appreciate during an employment tribunal claim, is that there are two distinct elements involved. As a result, a Claimant could ‘win’ their case, but the employer could convince a tribunal to reduce the amount of compensation it must pay. Because of this, a Claimant could end up with little or no compensation.

How can a tribunal reduce my compensation?

There are three ways in which an employer will try to convince a tribunal to reduce a claimant’s award:

Polkey deductions

In the case of Polkey v AE Dayton Services Ltd [1987], the Claimant won their case because the employer had not carried out a fair procedure. But the tribunal reduced the amount of compensation because the employer convinced them that even if they had carried out a fair procedure, the outcome would have been the same – the Claimant would have been dismissed anyway.

Statutory deductions

Under s123(6) Employment Rights Act 1996 a reduction can be made where the employee is found to have caused or contributed to the dismissal. The case of Nelson v BBC (No. 2) [1997] decided that three factors must be satisfied if a tribunal are to find contributory fault:

  • the relevant action must be culpable or blameworthy (including conduct which was perverse or foolish, bloody-minded or merely unreasonable in all the circumstances)
  • it must have caused or contributed to the dismissal
  • it must be just and equitable to reduce the award by the proportion specified

Tribunals do sometimes make deductions of 100% for contributory fault.

Claimant’s failure to mitigate

Finally, a claimant has a duty to mitigate their loss. A tribunal can reduce the amount of compensation if the employer can convince them that a claimant has not made ‘reasonable efforts’ to reduce their loss. Further information on this can be found in this article about how a claimant can reduce the likelihood that this will happen.


Come in and talk to our employment solicitors

Levins have an excellent team with experience of employment issues. We regularly support claimants and respondents from the initial interview, all the way through to attending the tribunal hearing. If you would like any advice on your employment situation, please get in touch with Jon Heath  on 0151 480 5777 or by using the contact form on this page.