Employment tribunals on the rise

The number of employment tribunal cases has increased by 50 per cent during
the past six years, according to a report by manufacturers organisation the
EEF.

The report found that a rising tide of employment legislation is to blame.
It showed the number of cases handled on behalf of its members increased by 3
per cent to 2,206 last year. This compares to 2,145 cases in 2002 and 1,450 in
1998.

EEF director of employment and legal affairs Peter Schofield warned that new
dispute resolution laws due to come into force in October would do little to
ease the problem.

"There is a rising tide of employment litigation that is benefiting
nobody in the workplace, certainly not employers, while employees are not
securing significant victories. The forthcoming Dispute Resolution Procedures
will not help and could make the situation worse," he said.

The survey also found that 27 per cent of claims were withdrawn by the
applicant with no compensation before the hearing, while 78 per cent of claims
were won by the employer.

"The message from these figures is that all parties – including the
Government, conciliation service Acas, employers’ organisations and trade
unions, must redouble their efforts to ensure more disputes are resolved in the
workplace," Schofield said.

The average settlements and awards were just under £5,500.

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