Every annual release of Employment Tribunal and Employment Appeal Tribunal statistics piques the interest of employment lawyers in the UK in the hope of identifying any discernible trends in employment litigation.
The findings for the period between April 2015 and March 2016 published by the Ministry of Justice were of particular note in order to continue measuring the impact on tribunals of the fees regime (introduced on 29 July 2013) and the ACAS Early Conciliation which became mandatory for most claims from 6 May 2014.
Employment Tribunals received a total of 83,031 claims during 2015 – 2016 which marks an increase of almost 25,000 on the previous year. However, multiple claims (primarily equal pay and holiday pay) are the reason for the increase, with 16,935 single claims and 66,096 multiple claims received. There were only 500 more single claims than in 2014-2015.
While the total number of Employment Tribunal claims saw a 35% increase in the year-on-year figures because of these multiple claims, it still, notably, marks a 43% decrease since the introduction of fees.
The following highlights some of the notable developments in the statistics for specific claims:
- The number of claims for unfair dismissal in which the claimant received compensation has almost halved.
- Of those proceeding to a hearing, 46% of unfair dismissal claims were successful. The median award was £7332. The highest award was £470,865.
- Overall, the average award for every protected characteristic in discrimination cases has risen.
- Out of nine total claims for sexual orientation discrimination, only one was awarded compensation at a value of £20,192
- The highest compensation award came by way of a sex discrimination case in which £1,762,130 was awarded. However, the number of successful sex discrimination claims has fallen significantly from 77 successful claims down to 33 this term.
- The number of religious or belief discrimination cases has increased with the largest compensation award coming in at £45,490.
- Disability discrimination was successfully pled in 72 cases with the largest award totalling at £257,127.
- 658 costs awards were made in total which were split into 393 in favour of claimant and 265 for the respondent. The largest costs award reached £102,967 while the average again saw an increase to a total of £3,228.
What do the employment tribunal figures mean?
These statistics again highlight that, although tribunal claims are still at lower numbers than previously, the claims that are successful at full hearings can still receive awards at significant levels. It is key when faced with potential litigation that an early review of the merits of the claim and defence is undertaken, and the case managed accordingly.
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If you would like to find out more about how we could assist you in relation to employment tribunals, please get in touch with a member of our team.
The small print: This blog is for information purposes only and should not be construed in any way as providing legal advice.