The statistics relating to Employment Tribunal and Employment Appeal Tribunal activity for the year 2010/2011 have been published. The statistics, published on 1 September, relate to the period 1 April 2010 to 31 March 2011. When compared with figures for the previous year, there were big increases in the number of claims of age discrimination (up by almost a third) and claims brought under the legislation preventing less favourable treatment of part-time workers - which have almost trebled in number.

Claims for other types of discrimination and for unfair dismissal and redundancy are down slightly and overall, there have been fewer single claims brought in the Employment Tribunal, compared to the relevant period last year (down by 15 percent). There has also been a reduction of 16 percent in the Tribunal’s outstanding caseload for single claims, when compared to last year’s figures. It must, however, be remembered that last year saw a record number of claims before the Tribunal.

It is always interesting to note what size awards Tribunals are handing out. The median award for unfair dismissal claims was just over £4,500, and the median award for discrimination claims, with the exception of age discrimination, was £5,000 - £6,000. The median award for age discrimination was much higher, at over £12,500.

The biggest sum dished out for unfair dismissal was in excess of £180,000 and the biggest sum for discrimination was approximately £290,000 - for sex discrimination.

Statistics were also published as to costs awards. Costs are rarely granted in Employment Tribunal proceedings and this year’s figures confirm that to still be the case. There were just 355 cases where costs were awarded against the Claimant to the Respondent, and 132 cases where costs were awarded against the Respondent to the Claimant. To put these figures into perspective, it should be borne in mind that 122,800 claims were disposed of by the Tribunal during that period. In terms of value, the median costs award was £1,273 and the average award was £2,830. There are only four cases where costs awards of over £10,000 have been recorded.

The statistics published also included information as to how many claimants were represented and as to how many appeared in person. Of 218,100 total claimants in the year 2010/11, 142,700 were represented by lawyers and 10,000 by trade unions. 25,000 received another form of representation and up to 40,400 appeared in person.

The statistics also provide a breakdown of the outcomes of all claims considered in 2010/11:

  • 12 percent were successful at hearing
  • 9 percent were unsuccessful at hearing
  • 32 percent were withdrawn
  • 29 percent were settled via Acas
  • 10 percent were struck out but not at hearing (for example, by way of an unless order)
  • 2 percent were dismissed at a preliminary hearing
  • Default judgement was given in 6 percent of cases

So it remains the case that the majority of Tribunal claims never make it as far as a final merits hearing.

Download the full statisical report from the Ministry of Justice website (PDF, 252KB).