The Employment Tribunal and Employment Appeal Tribunal statistics for 2010-2011 have been published by HM Courts and Tribunals Service.
In summary, the statistics reveal the following:
• the number of claims received by tribunals has fell by 8 per cent compared with 2010, and the number of disposals has risen by 9 per cent
• the number of single claims received has fallen 15 per cent
• the number of unfair dismissal and redundancy claims has fallen slightly
• the number of claims under the Part-time Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2000 have nearly tripled
• age discrimination claims have risen 32 per cent and
• the median award of £12,697 for age discrimination claims is the highest of the discrimination strands, with all others around £5,000 and £6,000.
The case for some over the last few years has been that tribunal claims are on the rise and are clogging the system. While it is true that the number of accepted claims for 2009/10 is 56% higher than for 2008/9, thought to be due to a mixture of increased multiple claims and economic factors, there is always a danger in taking these statistics at face value. It may well be the case that employers are being more realistic in this economic climate and are making a commercial decision to settle early, instead of fighting the claim and throwing money at legal fees.