The 2009/2010 Annual Statistics for the Tribunals Service were published at the end of last month.
Among the key findings were the following:
- There was a 56% rise in claims to Employment Tribunals compared with the previous year, although most of that rise can be explained by an increase in the number of multiple claims;
- The number of proceedings concluded within that year also increased, by 22%, but as the number of new claims received increased by a greater amount the caseload has effectively increased;
- The number of claims associated with unfair dismissal, breach of contract and redundancy has gone up by 17%, which is likely to be linked to the effects of the recession;
- There were over 400,000 Employment Tribunals cases outstanding at the end of the year (mostly multiple claims), up from under 300,000 the year before;
- Only 65% of Employment Tribunals claims were heard within six months of receipt of the claim, as against a target of 75% and a performance of 74% the previous year (and the year before that);
- Of a total of 50,900 unfair dismissal claims concluded, there were 22,400 ACAS conciliated settlements and 12,200 withdrawals by claimants. Of those claims that went to full hearing, respondents won 4,500 and lost 5,200 of those cases;
- Of the 38,310 discrimination claims accepted in the Employment Tribunal, 18,200 were for sex discrimination, 7,500 for disability discrimination, 5,700 for race discrimination, 5,200 for age discrimination, 1,000 for discrimination on grounds of religion or belief and 710 for discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation.
The increases to the already heavy caseload of the Tribunals Service mean that some delays and difficulties in the handling of cases regrettably seem likely to continue.