Employment Tribunals and EAT statistics 2010/2011
9% rise in the number of claims disposed of by the Employment Tribunal
The Ministry of Justice has published the Employment Tribunals and EAT statistics for the period 1 April 2010 to 31 March 2011; and the figures are being already being banded around in headlines, and email updates.
The figures for Employment Tribunals (ET) show that there were 218,000 receipts (claims accepted) to Employment Tribunals between 1 April 2010 and 31 March 2011. This is an 8% fall in the number of claims received when compared with the previous year. However, the number of claims disposed of reached 122,800, representing a 9% increase when compared to 2009-10, and a 33% increase when compared to 2008-2009. The figures also contain a footnote that there “may be a small undercount in ET disposals because of changes to computer systems during the year” – see my blog entry on the Solicitors Journal Website for more details.
Awards by jurisdiction
Below is a list of maximum and average awards by jurisdiction:
Unfair dismissal £181,754 £8,924
Race Discrimination £62,530 £12,108
Sex Discrimination £289,167 £13,911
Disability Discrimination £181,083 £14,137
Religious Discrimination £20,221 £8,515
Sexual orientation discrimination £47,633 £11,671
Age Discrimination £144,100 £30,289
Costs Awarded in ET cases £83,000 £2,830
*There is an amusing typo in the footnote to the costs section which states that “a costs award was mad [sic] of £11k but capped at £10k.”
At 31 March 2011 the caseload outstanding for the ET was 484,300 – an increase of around a fifth on the number at 31 March 2010. The vast majority of the outstanding claims (claims awaiting resolution) are multiple claims, including about 199,000 resubmitted Working Time Regulation claims.
The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) received 2,048 appeals and disposed of 2,001 compared to 1,968 and 1,848 in 2009-2010. These figures include pre and post hearing disposals.
Comment – Pressure on the Employment Tribunal System
The new statistics reiterate that the Employment Tribunal system is under increasing pressure and this strain is obvious to all employment law practitioners, especially Central London Employment Tribunal which is renting additional space within the Tribunal building on Kingsway to cope with demand. Some tribunal cases are overbooked (known as “floating”) in a similar way that airlines over book flight tickets; resulting in some listed cases being re arranged for an alternate date many weeks, or in some cases months, in the future – leading to an increase in the outstanding caseload. Where witnesses need to travel from overseas this can result in significant additional costs, inconvenience, and loss of management time.