by Laurie Anstis on September 12, 2013
The government has today published the employment tribunal statistics for the first quarter of the 2013/2014 tribunal year: April – June 2013. These also include full employment tribunal statistics from the year 2012/2013.
Employment tribunal statistics are notoriously difficult to interpret, and tend to be distorted by multiple claims, making it difficult to identify underlying trends. Nevertheless, here are the headlines:
– The number of claims received by employment tribunals was up 10% against the same period last year. Nevertheless, the table at page 7 of the report suggests that, with some ups and downs, the overall number of claims is roughly static, and at page 8 the report concludes that “the trend in single claims is broadly steady for receipts and disposals”.
– Sex discrimination claims and equal pay claims saw the largest rise – presumably further multiple equal pay and sex discrimination claims being submitted, rather than an increase in individual claims.
– Multiple claims account for two thirds of the tribunals’ outstanding workload. On page 13 of the report it says “The 594,528 multiple ET claims actually relate to 5,308 cases”.
– Tribunal “disposals” (that is, closing cases on completion) are up 24% against the same period last year. This is skewed by a large increase in disposal of multiple claims.
– The mean time for a single employment tribunal case to be completed was 24 weeks, but nearly three years for multiple claims (page 16).
The statistics also contain a detailed breakdown of average awards, representation and costs awards made by employment tribunals.
These are the first set of statistics which could have been affected by the increase from one to two years in the qualifying period for unfair dismissal claims. The statistics show a slight increase in unfair dismissal claims against both the previous quarter and the same quarter in 2012, but it is difficult to draw any conclusions from this.
These statistics do not cover July 2013, when anecdotal evidence suggests that many claims were submitted before the introduction of fees at the end of July 2013. It will only be in the Oct – Dec 2013 statistics that we can tell what difference fees have made to the level of claims.