I recently blogged about the Tribunal Services Annual Statistics report - Employment Tribunal Statistics.

This though does not include details of the awards made by the Employment Tribunal. However, the Equal Opportunities Review has reported on the results of their annual survey of compensation for unlawful discrimination in 2010. Their review was based on 391 cases in England and Wales and is an excellent read for anyone involved in dealing with discrimination claims.

The report indicates that in 2009 there were several exceptionally high awards (including the award of £797,736 in Driscoll v News Group Newspapers Ltd) and two other awards nudging the £½ million mark. Overall just under £8million was awarded in discrimination cases. The effect of the top end awards also resulted in the average awards figure being slightly skewed.

The figures for 2010 therefore showed some important differences. The overall compensation awarded in the surveyed cases fell to just over £5.3 million. The overall average also decreased (due to the top end awards being smaller) to £13,624 (down from a record £20,910 in 2009).

The report indicates that the top 3 average awards were age discrimination (£19,448), race discrimination (£16,566) and disability discrimination (£12,403). The average for disability saw a sizeable decrease from its 2009 level.

The overall median figure (which is generally a more accurate indication of trends) increased to £8,000. This however disguises a variation in the median trends for different strands of discrimination.

Click here to see table

What, of course, this report is not able to take into account are the many claims that are settled confidentially without being determined by an Employment Tribunal.

Discrimination claims can be very expensive (and the general level of awards appears to be increasing as evidenced by the median figures). It is also important to remember that the statutory cap of £68,400 does not apply in discrimination claims as evidenced by the very high awards mentioned earlier.  Getting it right has never been so important.