The Employment Tribunal award statistics have just been published for the period from 1 April 2011 to 31 May 2012. We previously reported that the Employment Tribunals received a total of 186,300 claims, a 15% fall from the previous year.

The highest award made by the Tribunal was £4,445,023 in a race discrimination claim. Other significant awards were made in disability and age discrimination claims.

The highest unfair dismissal award made was £173,408. This is higher than the statutory maximum, but it must be noted that the maximum does not apply in cases of whistle-blowing, or dismissal for raising health and safety concerns. The median award in unfair dismissal cases was £4,560, fairly static from last year.

There was a substantial increase in the number of cases where costs were awarded against one of the parties from 487 to 1,411, although these numbers are skewed by one case involving 800 claimants, in which all the claimants were ordered to pay costs. Removing the 800 from the equation, the figures still show an increase from 487 to 612. As an overall percentage of the number of claims brought the number of costs awards remains low, however the increase may represent a shift in attitude with the Tribunal being more willing to make costs awards.

The full report is available here.