A survey published by manufacturers’ organisation EEF has shown a sharp drop in the number of employment tribunal cases it handled last year.
According to the survey, the number of employment tribunal cases handled for member companies fell from 2,206 in 2003 to 1,702 last year, a reduction of 23%.
In addition, the overall number of claims also fell by 15%. However, the number of cases which comprised multiple claims increased, to 40% of all cases, compared to 29% in 2003.
EEF believes that the fall in the number of cases may be due to a combination of several reasons, including:
- The introduction of new dispute resolution and employment tribunal procedures in October 2004
- A greater awareness on the part of employers of the need to follow proper procedures through awareness campaigns and expert advice and guidance produced by EEF
- A significant reduction in the number of job losses in manufacturing in 2004 compared to the peak in the last downturn in 2002-3.
EEF director of employment and legal affairs, Peter Schofield, said: “These figures suggest that the increasing tide of litigation we have seen over the past few years may have started to ease.
“While it is still too early to call, we would hope that the concerted attempt by employers and government to reduce the number of tribunal claims may be bearing fruit.”