Tribunal claims hit all-time high

Applications to employment tribunals reached an all-time high of more than
100,000 last year – up more than 20 per cent on the previous year, figures
show.

The dramatic jump is due to the plethora of employment legislation
introduced in the past 18 months, which has given employees more rights, said
employment law consultancy Peninsula.

There were 104,340 applications to tribunals in 1999, according to the
Manchester-based firm, which has been collating tribunal figures since 1990.
This shows a leap of 21.4 per cent from 1998’s figure of 85,958.

Applications have increased by 135 per cent since 1990, when 44,377 were
made.

Rita Sammons, president of Socpo, said employers expected tribunal
applications to rise, especially as a result of the reduction in the qualifying
period for unfair dismissal from two years to one.

"Society in general is becoming more litigious and it is not surprising
that employment is following that trend," she said.

The level of the increase is concerning, particularly as tribunals have
become legalistic making them expensive and time-consuming, she said.

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