How much compensation could I receive for unfair dismissal?

The basic award for unfair dismissal is based on your age and the length of time you have worked for your employer. As of 1 February 2012, the maximum basic award is £12,900. The compensatory award makes up for any money you have lost through being sacked - such as wages. By winning a claim of unfair dismissal you should receive the basic award at the very least but it is usual to also be awarded a compensatory award to reflect your loss of earnings together with other elements of compensation such as an amount for loss of statutory rights, pension losses, expenses incurred in looking for a new job, etc. In some cases, compensation can also be uplifted by up to 25% if your employer has breached the applicable ACAS Code of Practice.

The basic award is calculated in the same way as statutory redundancy payments. This equates to half a week's pay for every year you have worked under the age of 22, one week's pay for each year worked between the ages of 22 and 41 and one and a half week's pay for every year worked over the age of 41. However, this is capped at 20 years' service and you cannot claim for anything earned over £430 per week (as of Feb 2012).

In February 2012, the total compensation award limit for unfair dismissal rose from its maximum of £68,400 to £72,300. The total maximum amount awarded for normal unfair dismissal claims, comprising the basic award and the compensatory award, is therefore £85,200. In certain circumstances, such as dismissal for whistle-blowing or health and safety reasons (or indeed in discrimination cases), there are no limits to the amount you may be awarded.

However, if you have not made any attempt to find a new job to reduce your loss of earnings, the employment tribunal may reduce your compensatory award so it is very important that you try to find another job and keep a full record of your job search.