Fewer tribunal cases this year

The number of cases taken to employment tribunals has fallen sharply in the past year, according to figures from the Employment Tribunals Service.

The fall was due to fewer multiple cases being brought and the effects of new rules designed to deter frivolous and unnecessary claims.

In total, 86,181 cases were brought, compared with 115,042 last year, and most dealt with dismissals or wages, according to a BBC report on the new findings.

Sex discrimination cases fell from 14,284 to 11,726.

However, the tribunal figures for the previous year, 2003-2004, were skewed by more than 7,000 applications relating to a dispute over the dress code for workers in jobcentres.

A male jobcentre worker won a case of discrimination after refusing to wear a tie, which sparked a number of other applications.

In addition, new rules were introduced in October 2004 to encourage discussion between workers and their employers.

The report found the most common complaints at tribunals relate to unfair dismissal and the unlawful deduction of wages.

The Employment Tribunals Service said that more than a third of cases were settled through the conciliation service, Acas, before reaching a tribunal hearing and a further third of the cases were withdrawn before being heard.

Of the remainders, about two-thirds were successful at tribunal.

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