Working Theory

by Michael Reed


I do employment law for the Free Representation Unit.


michael at


You spent £91,310.93 on employment lawyers?

11 April 2014

Apparently, since May 2010, the House of Commons has spent £91,310.93 in legal costs fighting employment tribunal claims.1

This is sounds like a lot of money, but it really isn’t. Over that time – nearly four years – there were 16 tribunal claims from House of Commons staff. So each cost an average of about £5,700. That’s pretty modest.

16 claims over four years isn’t a lot either. The House of Commons employs about 1,700 people.2 So, four claims is 0.24% of the workforce.

Richard Dunstan tells me that, in general, employers should expect one claim per year per 250 employees.3 So the House of Commons is actually getting fewer claims than average (which admittedly one would expect, you’d hope the House of Commons would be a better than average employer and thus get fewer than average claims).

So there really isn’t a story here. Like any large organisation employing hundreds of people, the House of Commons gets involved in employment disputes, some of which go to tribunal.

  1. Asa Bennett, ‘Parliament Has Spent Over £100,000 Fighting Employment Tribunals’ The Huffington Post (11th April 2014) 

  2. The House of Commons Administration Annual Accounts 2012-13 


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