Employment tribunal winners not seeing money they’re awarded

A third of claimants who win their case at an employment tribunal never see any of the money awarded to them

 

Thousands of employees who’ve won their claim at an employment tribunal, have not yet seen the money they were awarded in compensation.

The UK government maintains that the problem is being looked into and that employers not willing to pay are being forced to do so. However, new data shows that all attempts by the government to make firms ‘pay up’ are so far not working and many claimants are left not knowing where to turn to for help.

The Guardian spoke to Grahame Healiss, aged 27, who was sacked from his call centre job in Liverpool after reporting that his girlfriend was being sexually harassed by one of the team leaders.

The case went before a tribunal, the couple won and they were awarded damages of £40,000 but eight months later, still no payment. Before the final hearing, the company they worked for, M&R Marketing, went into liquidation and thus avoided their liability, a common ploy used by many companies which needs to be addressed by the government.

According to a spokesperson for the government’s Insolvency Service, there are thousands of cases like this one happening every week across the UK but it’s very difficult to prove that the companies involved are going out of business on purpose, just to avoid paying out money awarded.

Government data revealed that over one third of winning claimants never receive any of their awarded compensation and less than half receive payment in full.

“Too many employees who win cases don’t get the money they’re owed. The government must take tough action on employers who refuse to pay up,” said Frances O’Grady, TUC general secretary.

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