Quiet year for unfair dismissal cases in UK

A total of 3,943 unfair dismissal claims were upheld at employment tribunals in the year to April 2005, of which 2,383 resulted in the award of compensation.

Findings from the Employment Tribunals Service’s annual report published in Personnel Today’s sister publication IRS Employment Review show that it has been a relatively quiet year, continuing a falling trend.

The number of cases that reached a hearing fell from 115,042 in the year to April 2003, to 86,181 in the year to April 2004, and has fallen substantially yet again (although the final figure for 2005 will not be released until next year’s report).

Some believe this can be attributed to new regulations covering disciplinary and grievance cases deterring frivolous claims, while others fear the regulations may be keeping genuine claimants at bay.

This year’s maximum compensation awards are significantly lower than those for 2003-04, which peaked at £113,117 for unfair dismissal, £635,150 for race discrimination, £504,433 for sex discrimination, and £173,139 for disability discrimination.

The median figure for unfair dismissal awards remains lower than the compensation awarded for race, sex and disability discrimination claims.

Employment Tribunal Service, www.ets.gov.uk
IRS Employment Review, www.irsemploymentreview.com

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