Employment

Following my blog in July, the Ministry of Justice has now released quarterly employment tribunal statistics for the period 1 April to 30 June 2013 (Q2 2013). During this period 44,335 claims were lodged in the employment tribunal – an increase of 10% over the same period in 2012. On average there were 1.7 specific complaints (unfair dismissal, discrimination, breach of contract etc.) per claim form, which is consistent with previous quarters.

Some interesting points to note are:

  • there were 40% more sex discrimination claims than in Q2 2012;
  • equal pay claims went up by 63%;
  • claims under the Working Time Regulations remain the largest single group representing 28% of the total for the quarter; and
  • the average lifespan of an employment tribunal case has gone up (half of all cases were cleared within 46 weeks or less – 16 weeks longer than in the same period in 2012).

The next batch of statistics will be particularly interesting, as the July – September 2013 quarter will provide the first formal indication of how the number of claims lodged has been affected by the introduction of tribunal fees on 29 July 2013. I suspect, however, that we’ll need to wait a bit longer to get an accurate picture. We know from discussions with clerks at various tribunal offices that they saw a flurry of claims being lodged in the last few days before the fees came in, so it seems likely that August and September will have been quieter due to people lodging claims earlier than they might have otherwise. It remains to be seen how much of a deterrent the fees will actually be – watch this space!

Julie Keir

Practice Development Lawyer at Brodies LLP
As a Practice Development Lawyer Julie is responsible for developing and maintaining Brodies Workbox, our award-winning online HR and employment law resource.
Julie Keir