Increase in claims received by tribunals
Labour & European Law Review Weekly Issue 339 02 October 2013
The latest statistics published by the government’s Tribunals Service reveal that the number of employment claims received in the last quarter increased by more than 10 per cent compared to the same period in 2012.
The biggest increases were in relation to sex discrimination claims (up 40 per cent), and equal pay (63 per cent) and are likely to be due to an increase in multiple claims.
Claims relating to the Working Time Directive remain the largest, accounting for 28 per cent of the total. Again a significant number of these claims are multiples in the airline pilots case of Williams v British Airways plc which have to be resubmitted every quarter.
There has also been a substantial increase (perhaps not surprising) in the number of claims for failure to inform and consult in a collective redundancy situation - up by 39 per cent on last year.
However, despite the overall increases the number of single claims disposed of (closed on completion) fell by eight per cent while the number for multiple claims increased by 61 per cent.
Of the total claims disposed of:
- 18 per cent were for unauthorised deductions
- 17 per cent were for unfair dismissal
- 17 per cent were for working time
- 10 per cent were associated with discrimination (age, race, sex, sexual orientation, religion or disability).
Significantly the number of unfair dismissal claims disposed of fell by five per cent, which may be due to the increase in the qualifying period for claiming unfair dismissal from one to two years in April 2012. The number of age discrimination claims disposed of also fell by a significant 30 per cent, which may be due to the abolition of the default retirement age and statutory retirement procedure.
The percentage of claims disposed of which succeeded remain static at eight per cent for unfair dismissal and three per cent for race, disability, religious belief and sexual orientation discrimination.
The time it takes for a single claim to complete through the tribunal system is 24 weeks compared with almost three years for multiple claims.
It is important to remember that these statistics do not include the month of July which is likely to see a significant increase in claims lodged prior to the Introduction of fees on 29 July 2013.