The Employment Tribunal Service has published its statistics for the period 1 April 2008 - 31 March 2009. Whilst there has been a small overall decline in the level of litigation (possibly reflecting the reduced size of the UK workforce during a recession), there has been a large and expected increase in the type of claims that typically come out of an economic downturn. The key figures are as follows:

  • rise in claims for unfair dismissal (up 29%); breach of contract (up 31%); redundancy pay (up 48%); and failure to inform and consult on a collective redundancy (up 150% on 2007/2008);
  • overall decrease of 4% in number of claims accepted (excluding multiple claims from airline crew in 2007/2008);
  • the largest award of compensation for discrimination was £1,353,452 (awarded for race discrimination); and
  • the largest award of costs made against a party was £25,000.