Latest Tribunal Statistics Make Unhappy Reading for Employers

9 October, 2018

The Ministry of Justice recently published the tribunal statistics for April to June 2018.

The key statistics were:

  • The number of single claims lodged increased by 165% compared to the same quarter last year.
  • The number of single claims outstanding rose by 130% compared with the same quarter last year.
  • There have been 12,400 fee refund payments made since the fee refund scheme was introduced, totalling just over £10 million.
  • 17% of Claimants before the tribunals and EAT had no representative, up from only 9% the previous year.
  • Disability discrimination cases had the largest average award (£30,700).
  • The average award for unfair dismissal claims was £15,007.

The fee system for bringing a tribunal claim was abolished in July 2017 which is clearly reflected by the sharp increase in single claims being lodged since then.  

The increase in the number of single claims outstanding demonstrates that the Tribunals are struggling to cope with the increased workload. HM Courts and Tribunal Service (HMCTS) is in the process of recruiting more employment judges but this is a longer term solution and will not reduce the backlog of cases in the short term.

HMCTS has also recently published a progress report on its ongoing reform programme including information about forthcoming changes to employment tribunals.

The plan is to develop a new employment tribunals service which will be more responsive to users’ needs and will include the ability to resolve some cases online and by video. However work on this project is not expected to commence until 2020.

In the short term we expect tribunal litigation to continue to constitute a large percentage of our overall workload. Clients’ frustrations about the efficacy of the tribunal system are also likely to continue for some time to come.

If you have an employee who has filed or is threatening to file a tribunal claim against your organisation it is important that you take legal advice as soon as possible. Contact one of our experienced team who can help you navigate the process.

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