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Employment tribunal statistics update and why good employee relations is important


Senior associate solicitor Katy Parkinson, from our employment and HR team, looks at the latest employment tribunal statistics published by the government and discusses the importance of employers to be proactive in their approach to employee relations.

The latest employment tribunal quarterly statistics (October to December 2022) and average annual awards data (2021/2022) provide insight into the number of claims received, the types of claims brought and the average awards in successful cases.

Volume of tribunal claims

The headline points of the report are:

  • Employment tribunals received a total of 23,000 claims; 33 per cent (7,600) of these were single claims and the remaining 67 per cent (15,000) were multiple claims.
  • Employment tribunals disposed of 17,000 claims.
  • At the end of December 2022, there were 475,000 claims outstanding.

The government recently announced an increase to the days that judges can sit in the employment tribunal, with a £2.85m investment made to enable up to 1,700 more cases to come before judges before the end of March 2023, to tackle some of the backlog.

Costs and compensation

The annual award statistics for 2021/2022 show that:

  • There were 630 claims which received compensation for unfair dismissal with the average award being £13,541 (compared to £12,080 in 2020/2021).
  • The highest award for unfair dismissal was £165,000, an increase from the highest award recorded in the last 2 years.
  • There were 200 discrimination cases where compensation was awarded in 2021/22 and the highest amount awarded was £228,117 in a race discrimination claim.
  • Compared to all other claims, sexual orientation discrimination claims received the largest average award of £32,680.
  • 184 costs awards were made (134 to respondents and 50 to claimants) which again represents an increase on the previous two years, with the highest award being £600,673.

The table below sets out the maximum, median and mean awards from the reports:




Unfair Dismissal




Race Discrimination




Sex Discrimination




Disability Discrimination




Religion/Belief Discrimination




Age Discrimination




Sexual Orientation Discrimination




Claims are on the rise

No business wants to find itself in the unfortunate position of having to defend a claim brought against it by an employee. However, against a backdrop of COVID-19, Brexit and the cost-of-living crisis, contentious situations with employees are becoming increasingly common, time-consuming and costly for employers to deal with. There is such a backlog in the tribunal that it is often taking two years (or more) for claims to be listed for a final hearing.

If you are contacted by ACAS regarding early conciliation, or if you are in receipt of a tribunal claim, Harrison Drury’s specialist employment lawyers are available to provide tailored commercial advice and tactics, ensuring your business is robustly defended and the best possible outcome is achieved.

Specialist HR and employment law advice service

Employers need to act proactively to minimise the risk of a successful claim being made against their business.

Harrison Drury offers a specialist HR Compass service which provides businesses with a bespoke solution to help deal with HR matters. The service is offered on a retained, fixed-fee basis so that employers can take a proactive approach to managing staff and navigating HR issues, and ensuring they have the right contracts and policies in place, while keeping their legal costs under control.

HR Compass provides unlimited access to expert employment lawyers, generalist HR support and online HR resources via our Employer Hub, together with optional insurance protection against the cost of defending employment tribunal claims.

If you require assistance or advice in relation to ACAS early conciliation or an employment tribunal claim, or you would like further information about Harrison Drury’s HR Compass service, please contact our Employment and HR team on 01772 258 321 or at

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