Employment Tribunal Service reports 30% rise in claims and increase in multiple claims clogging the system

The number of employment tribunal claims rose by one-third last year, according to the Tribunals Service’s annual report.

A total of 189,348 claims were received last year, compared with 143,474 in 2006-07. The number of claims disposed of decreased from 107,412 to 86,237. An increase in multiple claims was cited as the reason for the fall in disposals.

The report states: “These types of claim remain in the system much longer than other types of claims and subsequently contributed to a 73% increase in the number of outstanding cases from 138,200 in April 2007 to 239,300 in March 2008.”

It is likely complex equal pay claims, particularly in local government and the NHS, represent the bulk of these multiple claims.

Despite the big rise in claims, the number of staff working for the Employment Tribunals Service fell. Some 585 staff were on the payroll last year, compared with 617 in 2006-07.

The annual report covers all tribunals, not just employment tribunals, so more detail on the jurisdiction mix of the claims and compensation awarded is expected from the Employment Tribunals Service annual report, which was published in September last year.

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