The Only Way is Up for Employment Tribunal Claims?

The quarterly tribunal statistics for October to December 2020 have been released and they show that the number of employment tribunal claims are continuing to rise. We take a look below at what the statistics show and some steps employers may wish to take to help protect their organisation.

The Statistics

Compared to the same period in 2019 the statistics show that for October to December 2020:

  • Single employment tribunal claims increased by 25%
  • Outstanding caseload rose by 36%
  • It’s taking 12 weeks longer to close cases – the mean age of cases at disposal is now 48 weeks

In terms of claims, the most common complaint made to employment tribunals during October to December 2020 was ‘working time,’ whereas ‘unfair dismissal’ was the most common complaint in October to December 2019.

Kingfishers Advice

The statistics show that employees are becoming more inclined to make tribunal claims than has been the case previously, particularly in some areas. This could in part be due to a growing awareness amongst employees and workers of their rights, such as in relation to issues regarding working time and holidays.

With this in mind, employers may wish to consider:

  • Raising Manager Awareness – It’s helpful for managers to have a basic awareness of employment law rights and how to appropriately deal with common employment law matters as this can reduce the risk that an organisation will accidentally fall foul of the law.

In light of the increase in employment tribunal claims regarding working time issues employers may particularly want to ensure that there is knowledge within the organisation about matters such as limits on working time, rights to rest and breaks under the Working Time Regulations and the law regarding holiday and holiday pay. Additionally, if an organisation is using the furlough scheme, it’s important to be aware of the rules regarding taking holiday and holiday pay during furlough.

  • Being Pro-active – Ensure there are appropriate policies and procedures in place, that these are clearly communicated to employees and that appropriate training on matters such as equal opportunities is provided (or refreshed where needed). Such steps can help to prevent problems from arising and can make it easier to address any that do.

Another important pro-active step is to ensure that your organisation keeps adequate records as this can help to evidence what has taken place in the event of a dispute with an employee.

  • Asking for Help – Employment law can be tricky and things are moving particularly rapidly at the moment so it’s important to seek expert advice on your situation before taking action in relation to an employee. Whatever employment law matter your organisation finds itself facing, remember Kingfisher Professional Services Ltd is here to help.

If you have an employment law matter you would like assistance with, please do not hesitate to contact us.