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Employment Tribunal Annual Statistics- Drop in number of claims

30th September 2012
The annual detailed statistics for the Employment Tribunal have been published. This provides information on the claims submitted to and dealt with by the Employment Tribunals and the Employment Appeals Tribunal between 1st April 2011 and the 31st March 2012.

The main news to report is the fact that the number of claims received by the Employment Tribunals dropped, for the second year in a row. This of course appears to contradict the way in which the media report the work of the Employment Tribunals.

The statistics demonstrate that the media and political commentary on the Tribunals is misguided or at least misinformed. For example, the median average award for unfair dismissal in the Employment Tribunals remains very low, at just £4,900. The mean average award over the year was just £9,133. The median average awards for discrimination were also much lower that commonly believed  (£6,746 for sex discrimination, £8,928 for disability discrimination, and £5,256 for race discrimination). These are not figures that you would expect to encourage many people into taking claims to the Employment Tribunal. Admittedly the strongest claims will usually settle, so the public will not know how much compensation was paid in those case. However, the statistics do indicate that submitting a claim to the Employment Tribunal is not a reliable way to riches.

Again if one listens to and believes all the media attention and comments from politicians you would be forgiven for believing that the Employment Tribunals are receiving increasing numbers of claims, yet the number of claims for unfair dismissal, race discrimination, sex discrimination, unauthorised deductions from wages, age discrimination and breach of contract claims ALL fell during the year.

Another common belief is that the Trade Unions  encourage claims to the Employment Tribunals. However, in the year the number of cases supported by Trade Union representatives in the Employment Tribunal dropped by some 50%. 

In the same period the number of costs orders made by the Employment Tribunals rose, as did the amount ordered (to £1,730 from £1,273). This suggests that the Tribunals are more prepared to order costs than they had been, but it is still only in a small number of cases that this happens, and the amount ordered rarely meets the full legal costs incurred. The real story in the statistics is that perception is not reality.The statistics suggest that people are not as keen to rush to the Employment Tribunal as is often portrayed by the media, and even if they win their cases in the Tribunal they are unlikely to receive large sums of compensation.

If you need any assistance or help in respect of the issues raised in this article please do not hesitate to contact Hallett Employment Law Services Ltd.  

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