Awards in sex discrimination doubled

This month saw the UK Ministry of Justice publish the annual employment tribunal award statistics for the year 2019/2020. In the year 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020, a total of 103,984 employment tribunal applications were made – a slight decrease on the previous year when 121,111 applications were made. The reduction was unexpected given the abolition of fees last year.

Overall, the number of compensation payments made fell from 774 in 2018/19 to 740 in 2019/20. The highest payment, £265,719, was awarded in a disability discrimination claim.

Perhaps a reflection of the #Metoo movement, awards in sex discrimination cases had the most significant change in terms of both median and average awards – both of which nearly doubled. Sex discrimination also saw a significant increase in the highest award made.  The median award has more than doubled from £6,498 in 2018/19 to £14,073 in 2019/20 and the average award has increased from £8,774 to £17,420.

The statistics cover the period April 2019 to March 2020 and so are largely unaffected by the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown. It is anticipated that next year’s figures will be significantly impacted by the coronavirus situation, such as an increase in unfair dismissal and disputes about payments made under the furlough scheme.


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