What Do the Latest Employment Tribunal Statistics Reveal?
For those of you who have been following the tribunal trends for the past couple of years it will come as no surprise that yet again there has been an increase in the number of single employment tribunal claims brought. The figures are however revealing when it comes to the awards that are being made for unfair dismissal and discrimination.
So, what are the figures for April to June 2019 when compared to the same period last year?
- Single employment tribunal claims have increased by 14% with 9,700 claims being made.
- There were 660 claims that received compensation for unfair dismissal, this is an increase of 23%. Interestingly, the average award was £14,000 and the highest award was £948,000.
- There were 110 discrimination cases where compensation was awarded, with the highest amount being awarded for disability discrimination – £416,000. Disability discrimination claims also attracted the highest average award for discrimination at £28,000.
- The most common complaint to tribunals remains unlawful deductions from wages.
- The average time taken to close a case is 33 weeks, this is an increase of five weeks.
- In terms of employment tribunal representation, the majority of claimants are represented.
When it comes to protecting your organisation from employment tribunal claims, simple steps really can make a difference:
- Ensure your contracts of employment are up to date and meet the needs of your organisation;
- Make sure workplace rules and standards are clearly communicated to employees so it’s more likely they will act appropriately and perform to the required standard – prevention is better than cure!
- Make sure your managers know your policies and have an awareness of basic employment law rights and procedures. This can help to reduce the risk that mistakes will be made when dealing with common issues such as handling misconduct and knowing when it is permissible to make deductions from an employee’s wages.
- Ensure managers can recognise serious issues at an early stage and are aware of the importance of dealing with matters promptly, fairly and appropriately. It’s particularly important to be alert to discrimination and harassment issues as there is no limit on the amount an employee can be awarded if they are successful in these types of tribunal claims.
- Contact Kingfisher Professional Services Ltd for advice on the circumstances of your case before taking action in relation to any employee. Employment law can be fast paced in terms of changes and there are many tricky areas that can trip up even the most experienced employers so its important to get expert support when managing employee matters.
- Be aware of the ACAS Early Conciliation Scheme as you may be contacted by an ACAS Conciliation Officer if an employee is considering bringing a tribunal claim against your organisation. The schemes purpose is to help settle disputes without going to tribunal and the recent tribunal statistics show that this is working in many cases as the most common way a case was closed was by an ACAS conciliated settlement. If you are contacted by ACAS it’s important to seek advice from Kingfisher Professional Services Ltd on your situation before taking action.
If you have any employment law issues you would like assistance with, please do not hesitate to contact us as we are happy to help.