Employment tribunal claims continue to rise, according to the latest quarterly statistics from the Ministry of Justice. Figures from July to September 2019 reveal that the impact of abolishing tribunal fees is showing no sign of slowing.
The Ministry of Justice has published the quarterly employment tribunal statistics for the period of July to September 2019 (Q2 of 2019/20).
Rise in single employment tribunal claims
The number of single claims or cases reached 12,007 from July to September 2019. This is a rise of 23% from 9,722 in Q1 and a 38% rise from the 8,680 claims filed between July and September 2018. However, the Ministry of Justice notes in its commentary that this increase can be largely attributed to its inclusion of 1,700 single cases that are expected to be reclassified as multiple claims once fully scrutinised. Most of these 1,700 single cases appear to have been lodged in Scotland and removing them from the data leaves the increase in single claims looking less extensive. However, despite this, the number of such claims or cases was above 10,000 for the first time since Q2 of 2013/14.
Drop in multiple employment tribunal claims
During tQ2 of 2019/20, there were 13,000 multiple claims received which is down 10% on the same period the previous year. Multiple claims are generally more unstable as they can be skewed by a high number of claims made against one single employer. The multiple claims received during this period relate to 560 multiple claim cases that average 18 claims per multiple case. This is down from 640 multiple cases in the same period the previous year which had 17 claims on average per case.
Disposals up but not in alignment with new claims
Completed cases, known as disposals, have increased by 4% in Q2 of 2019/20. While 38% more claims were received during this quarter, it might be expected that a larger number of cases would be completed, however employment tribunal claims are reportedly taking an average of eight months to be heard. Waiting times have increased for the fourth year in a row and the average delay between a claim lodged and an employment tribunal hearing is 237 days compared to 207 days last year.
Types of employment tribunal claims
The most common employment complaints received were equal pay (6,184) unfair dismissal (5,261) and unauthorised deduction of wages (4,541). These were also two of the most common types of complaint lodged in the same period in Q2 2018/2019, however both these types of complaints did see complaints fall in the latest figures.
Some areas experienced a notable rise in complaints in Q2 2019/2019 compared to the previous, such as religion or belief discrimination which was up 17%, age discrimination up by 21% and the National Minimum Wage which saw a rise of 59%. Areas that saw a drop in complaints included working time directive, which was down by 31%; written statement of reasons for dismissal fell by 36%,: TUPE failure to inform and consult was down by 50%; and sex discrimination complaints were by down 71%.
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