21 Mar 2019
Last week, the Ministry of Justice released the quarterly statistics for employment tribunal claims relating to October-December 2018.
Our Quarterly Statistics Analysis...
These statistics are useful indicators of the most prevalent claims being made against employers alongside how many cases are being put before employment tribunals in total. The most recent figures compare quarterly claims in comparison to the same period of time in the previous year and list the amount of overall claims between January and December 2018.
What do the statistics say?
In the twelve months from January to December 2018, a total of 38,767 single tribunal claims were received by the tribunal, averaging out at approximately 106 claims per day.
The Justice Department revealed that the outstanding caseload had dramatically increased in 2018, with the average waiting time for a claim to be heard reaching nearly seven months. This is a substantial amount of claims against current or ex-employers and shows the continuing impact of the tribunal fee removal in 2017.
It also serves as a warning to employers that an increasing number of employees are turning to tribunals if they believe they have been treated unfairly.
Looking at the quarterly statistics, this report reveals that tribunal claims have continued to increase each quarter, with a 23 per cent increase in single claims received in October-December 2018 compared to the same quarter in 2017. When taking a closer look, particular areas to note are:
- An increase in discrimination claims, particularly related to the protected characteristics of age, disability, race and sexual orientation
- A 56% increase in claims brought due to a detriment or dismissal on the grounds of pregnancy
- A 118% increase in claims relating to a failure to inform and consult during a redundancy process
- A 5% increase in claims relating to the right to receive a written pay statement, most likely attributed to an increasing awareness of the rights for ‘workers’ to receive a written pay statement from 6 April 2019
What should I take from this?
The increase in redundancy claims highlights that additional procedural requirements relating to information and consultation may not be carried out correctly within companies when employers are considering reducing staff numbers or closing workplaces.
This demonstrates that employers are continuing to face challenges in processes and procedures related to ending employment relationships and should ensure they are familiar with the legal obligations upon them. It should also be noted that, within this three-month period, over 4,600 unfair dismissal claims were brought alone.
Tribunal awards are increasing...
Tribunal compensation awards are set to increase from 6 April 2019, with the maximum compensation awarded for unfair dismissal exceeding £100,000 in total for the first time. Employers are therefore reminded of the importance of following fair and reasonable procedures, utilising correct documentation and taking action where necessary.
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