Beyond the past and future (loss)

Schedules of loss normally divide the compensatory award for unfair dismissal into past loss (loss up to the hearing) and future loss (loss that will happen after the hearing). A very similar approach is also taken to equivalent loss in other types of cases

This is a sensible system, because the tribunal will have to think about these things differently. Past loss is about what has actually happened. The tribunal will focus on making findings of fact about the claimant’s earnings post-dismissal and his efforts to mitigate. Future loss, however, is about predicting what will happen next.

There is no rule, however, that these are the only two categories that you can use. Often more subcategories are extremely useful.


Sometimes a claimant’s loss remains constant. For example, a woman who losses a job that paid £200 per week and remains unemployed up to the hearing has a past loss of £200 multiplied by the number of weeks between dismissal and the hearing.

On the other hand, she might have had done some temporary work for a few weeks shortly after dismissal where she earned £100 per week. Then got some part-time work earning £150 per week. Then a period of unemployment, followed by securing a permanent job on £185 per week.

In the second example trying to group all the past loss under one heading is likely to be difficult. A better approach is to divide it as follows:

  • Unemployment: 2 weeks @ £200 = £400
  • Temporary work: 3 weeks @ £100 = £300
  • Part-time work: 6 weeks @ £50 = £300
  • Unemployment: 6 weeks @ £200 = £1,200
  • Permanent work: 16 weeks @ £15 = £240

This will make it much easier for everyone to understand what loss you are claiming and why.

A schedule of loss should, up to a point, tell a story. It should be possible to understand what has happened to a claimant, and what he says will happen in the future, by reading it.

Types of loss

Most claims for compensation are primarily based on lost wages. But there are often other types of loss: bonuses, gym membership, lunch vouchers, car allowances, unsociable hours payments, subsidised travel, etc.

Often there will be dispute about whether all the types of loss are recoverable or how much they are worth. In such cases it is normally useful to divide them up, rather than deal with a single lump figure.

This has two advantages, firstly, as with dividing by events, it makes your schedule easier to understand.

Secondly, it makes it easier to for the tribunal to make changes to the figures. This will normally happen to a greater or lessor extent. Either the tribunal will decide that certain loss is not recoverable or that it should be calculated differently. It is much easier to make such changes if the figures are split up sensibly.

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