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The Ministry of Justice has published its latest report on the cost of Employment Tribunal and Employment Appeal Tribunal cases in the UK for the period April 2012 to March 2013.

This shows that there has been a 3% increase in tribunal claims compared with the same period last year.  There were 191,500 claims of which 15% were lodged for unfair dismissal, 16% were for unauthorised deduction from wages and 9% were for breach of contract.

Two thirds of all cases were withdrawn or settled before tribunal hearing and 11% were successful at a tribunal hearing.

In terms of the awards the maximum unfair dismissal award was £236,147 and the average award was £10,127.

Claims for race discrimination and sex discrimination awards averaged at £8,945 and £10,552 respectively. The maximum disability description award was £387,472.

In less than 1% of claims the costs awarded to the claimant and the average claim cost award was £8,079.

These statistics demonstrate that it is more important than ever to consider the impact of an employment dispute on your company, both in terms of the legal cost and also the potential award to a claimant.

Commercial Legal Expenses insurance could help your company with the defence of a claim and the costs associated with legal fees and the award.