Employment: New measures crack down on unpaid tribunal awards

Posted on 7th January, 2009

Estimated reading time 2 minutes

The Government has announced new measures to reduce the number of unpaid tribunal awards and the costs of enforcing them.  The new measures are in response to Government research which found that:

  • 39% of awards granted have not been paid; and
  • only 53% of awards are paid in full.

Also a report from an independent body, IFF Research Ltd, showed a link between the total value of the awards and the percentage of unpaid awards:

  • out of 93 claimants awarded less than £500, 26% did not receive any payment;
  • out of 497 claimants awarded between £500 and £4,999, 40% did not receive any payment;
  • out of 377 claimants awarded more than £5,000, 44% did not receive any payment.

The same research also showed that 40% of claimants, who received part payment or no payment, were unaware that their awards could be enforced in the County Court.

New measures

Actions include:

  • making High Court Enforcement Officers responsible for recovering awards given by employment tribunals or in out-of-court settlements;
  • launching a public information drive to include new leaflets and a new extended telephone help line.  The leaflets and help line will be operational from 1 April 2009;
  • those who fail to pay employment tribunals or EAT awards will be named and shamed  by being added to the Register of Judgments, Orders and Fines on issue of enforcement proceeding against them.  Members of the public and credit reference agencies will have access to the register.

These measures are intended to give claimants the required assistance and to ensure that awards are fully paid, without incurring unnecessary costs.


Research into enforcement of employment tribunal awards in England and Wales

For further information please contact us.


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