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Employment Tribunal Statistics 2014 – How Do They Affect Your Business?

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In this article we take a look at some trends and statistics in employment tribunals in 2014 and the causes behind these statistics.

According to UK government statistics from 2014, the number of single claims received between January and March this year was 5,619 a huge decrease of 59% from the same period in 2013. Multiple claims have also experienced a notable drop with the number of receipts for multiple claims dropping from 1,500 between January and March 2013 to approximately 400 in the same period this year, representing a staggering 73% decrease.

A study cited in the Guardian shows that the total number of claims had fallen by 79%, with a shocking 80% decrease in sex discrimination claims and unpaid wages and holiday claims also down by 85%.

These figures are not stand alone statistics, particularly for single claims, this is a trend which we have seen emerging over the last five years. For multiple claims this represents less of a trend as large numbers of claims against the same employer can skew national figures.

As we have now described, the number of employment tribunal cases is falling, but what are the reasons behind this trend and does this really mean that employers are at less risk of paying out claims to employees?

Why are the number of employment tribunals falling?

In 2013 the government introduced employment tribunal fees of up to £1,200 in an attempt to rule out frivolous claims. This is undoubtedly a major force behind the drop in the number of claims being brought to tribunal, as some people just can’t afford the upfront costs. Although the introduction of these fees has been blamed for pricing certain vulnerable employees out of court, justice minister Shailesh Vara says that it is unfair for taxpayers to foot the bill of £74m to escalate workplace disputes to a tribunal.

However great the impact of the introduction of these fees has been on the number of employment tribunal cases, there has been a slow decline in the number of single claims before these fees were ever introduced. Indeed the five year trend in the declining number of employment tribunal claims cannot be blamed on the recent introduction of employment tribunal fees. This five year trend is more likely a reflection of government efforts to encourage quicker and free alternatives to employment tribunals like early conciliation services such as those provided by ACAS.

What does this mean for your business?

Although you may feel like these statistics represent a decreased likelihood of an employment tribunal problem occurring for your business, this is not necessarily the case. Claims which are pursued are more determined than those previously brought to tribunal. In fact government statistics show that the number of single claims disposed of in the first quarter of 2014 was 53% less than the number of claims disposed of in the same period in 2013. This means that any claims which are brought against your business are more likely to result in a pay-out. Furthermore claims which do not reach employment tribunals may also result in your business having to pay out claims, although without all the court fees.

Protect your business

If you’re worried that an employee might make a claim against your business, consult an employment law expert today for free and impartial advice and contact us on 0161 115 6164.

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