Employment tribunal applications drop 12 per cent

Employment
tribunal applications have dropped in the last year according to the Employment
Tribunals Service’s (ETS) annual report.

News
of a 12 per cent drop in the number of tribunal applications (just under 99,000
over the last year, down from just over 112,000 in 2001-2002), comes shortly
after the Government launched the Better Regulation Taskforce to investigate a
new ‘compensation culture’ in the UK.

The
largest number of tribunal claims came from unfair dismissal cases (26 per
cent), followed by unlawful deduction from wages (23 per cent), while breach of
contract accounted for 17 per cent of applications.

Discrimination
claims made up 12 per cent of tribunal applications. Experts fear this portion
will rise with new discrimination rules on religion, sexual orientation and age
which is shortly to be implemented.

Confederation
of British Industry director-general Digby Jones, sees a compensation culture
as a very real danger to employers and blamed a ‘have-a-go mentality’ of
claimants launching dubious cases in the hope of a pay-out.

“This
creates a huge burden for companies who often find it cheaper to settle out of
court, even when right is on their side,” he said. “There is a fine line
between access to justice and system abuse.”

Key
statistics revealed in the ETS annual report are:


A 12 per cent drop in the number of tribunal applications (just under 99,000,
down from just over 112,000)


The largest number of claims are unfair dismissal (26 per cent), followed by
unlawful deduction from wages (23 per cent), breach of contract (17 per cent),
and discrimination claims (12 per cent)


A reduction in the number of registered appeals to the Employment Appeals
Tribunal (EAT) – 1,170, compared with 1,432 the previous year. Of the 756 full
hearings that took place, the appeal was allowed in 349 (46 per cent) of them


74 per cent of cases were heard within six months of the application being
lodged. London tribunals seem to be the slowest (Stratford only managed 59 per
cent) while Bristol had the best record (91 per cent)


Male staff represent 35 per cent of all staff employed (excluding judicial
posts), but 48 per cent of management level staff


39 per cent of all cases were settled through ACAS, 31 per cent were withdrawn,
13 per cent were successful at tribunal, 11 per cent were unsuccessful at
tribunal, and 6 per cent were ‘disposed of otherwise’


16 orders of reinstatement or re-engagement were made. This is 0.2 per cent of
cases which had full hearings in the tribunal


Costs orders were made in favour of the applicant in 307 cases, and in favour
of the respondent in 691 cases.

Statistics
in this form in this article are reproduced with the kind permission of Daniel
Barnett.  www.danielbarnett.co.uk

 

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