The Ministry of Justice has now published employment tribunal statistics for the latest quarter (October to December 2022). So, what do they tell us about the employment tribunal landscape?

Number of claims and backlog

Between October and December 2022 (Q3 2022/23):

  • 23,000 claims were received (of these, 7,600 were single claims, while the remaining were multiple claims) compared to 18,000 in the previous quarter.
  • 17,000 cases were disposed of compared to 13,000 in the previous quarter.

At the end of December 2022, there was a backlog of 475,000 cases (compared with 493,000 in the previous quarter). There were 45,000 single claims outstanding, overtaking the previous peak of 36,000 seen in Q2 of 2009/10.

The Ministry of Justice has not provided jurisdictional breakdowns for disposals, timings, and outcomes. This is because only partial statistics are available for 2021/22 due to the transition to a new database (Employment Case Management) during March to May 2021. Similarly, there is no breakdown by region, and so for example the position in Scotland compared to England and/or Wales cannot be more closely considered.

Comparative figures for 2021/22 and 2020/2021 

The most recent annual tribunal statistics include comparison between the years 2021/22 and 2020/2021:

Representation of claimants In 2021/22, over two-thirds of claimants were represented by a lawyer (67%), an increase of 2% on the previous year. In the same year, 27% of claimants had no representation, up from 26% in 2020/21.
Unfair dismissal awards In 2021/22, compensation was awarded in 630 unfair dismissal cases, up 51% on the previous year. The average award was £14,000. Unfair dismissal claims where compensation was awarded have been falling since 2010/2011, other than increases recorded in 2018/19 and 2021/22.
Discrimination awards Compensation was awarded in 195 discrimination cases in 2021/2022. The maximum award made was in a race discrimination case, totalling £228,000. Sexual orientation discrimination claims received the largest average award (£33,000).

What can we expect going forward?

Single claim receipts have now returned to levels seen before the COVID-19 pandemic and we might expect a relatively steady level of receipts going forward. It will be interesting to see whether the number of successful unfair dismissal claims continues to increase. Given the uncertain economic climate and cost-of-living crisis, it's possible that claims involving redundancy, changes to terms and conditions and contractual pay and benefits will be prevalent going forward.

The average unfair dismissal award could rise next year as the maximum compensatory award for unfair dismissal will increase from £93,878 to £105,707 from 6 April 2023. The limit on a week's pay will also rise to £643. We have written more on employment and immigration law changes coming in April here.

More information

Please get in touch with a member of Brodies Employment and Immigration team to discuss anything raised in this blog. Practical guidance on Tribunal Claims, Tribunal Awards and ACAS Early Conciliation is also available on Workbox by Brodies, our award-winning HR and employment law site.


Jack Barratt

Trainee solicitor