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Recently published statistics from the UK Employment Tribunal (covering the period from 1 April 2011 to 31 March 2012) highlight a significant fall (15%) in Employment Tribunal claims. During the 12 month period April 2011 to March 2012 the Tribunal received 186,300 claims where as in 2010/11 – 218,100 claims were received. In 2009/2010 236,100 claims were received and 151,000 claims were received in 2008/2009.

The UK Government are determined to reduce the number of claims before the Employment Tribunal and have taken radical steps in this regard including increasing the qualifying period for raising a Tribunal claim from 1 to 2 years. Future proposals include introducing Tribunal fees for Claimants, early ACAS conciliation and simplified settlement discussions/agreements which are likely to result in a further drop in the number of claims before the Tribunal over the coming years.

Some further highlights arising out of the 2011/2012 statistics:-

  • unfair dismissal claims down (slight decrease from 46,300 claims compared to 47,900 last year)
  • age discrimination claims are significantly down from 6,800 last year to 3,700 this year
  • significant fall in sex discrimination claims – down from 18,300 to 10,800

In respect of the 46,300 unfair dismissal claims received:-

  • 24% were withdrawn
  • 42% were settled
  • 9% were struck out
  • 8% were successful following a hearing
  • 3% were dismissed at a preliminary hearing
  • 10% were unsuccessful at hearing
  • 3% had a default judgment issued

It will be interesting to see what developments arise over the coming years in respect of our own Employment Appeals Tribunal and in particular how the Early Resolution intervention Services may assist to reduce the backlog.

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