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The final official employment tribunal statistics for April 2008 to the end of March 2009 won’t be published until later this year but the provisional figures released recently appear to reflect the current economic climate we’ve been experiencing over recent months.
Unfair Dismissal claims accepted up to February 2009 (47155) have increased by just over 15% compared with the number submitted between April 2007 and March 2008 (40941).
It is hoped that the new Discipline and Grievance Code of Practice will achieve the objectives that the recently abolished statutory dispute resolution procedures (April 6), failed to deliver……….a reduction in the number of claims that reach tribunals.
In reality, it is the way in which Employers interpret, implement and communicate this new code of practice that will help drive reductions in the number of unfair dismissal claims that reach tribunals. Have you amended your Contracts of Employment, Company Handbooks and Disciplinary Procedures and written to your staff yet?
Further evidence the economic downturn is impacting is the increase in Redundancy Pay claims, up by more than 26% (7313 to 9220). Up too and by a whopping 65% (4480 to 7382) are claims that Employers failed to inform and consult over redundancy.
Equal Pay claims continue to top the list as the primary claim reason but the overall number of claims for Equal Pay are down by more than 32% .
Discrimination claims for religion and belief and sexual orientation have shown little movement this year to last but claims under Age discrimination have risen by just over 16% (2949 to 3430).
In looking at historical tribunal claim statistics along with these latest, provisional statistics, we can see that the total number of Industrial Tribunal claims has risen by 65% since 2005/06.
Whilst it’s far too early to say whether or not the new Discipline and Grievance Code of Practice will help slow the increasing trend of claims reaching tribunals, we can confidently say that it is imperative that Employers do everything possible, within their control, to significantly reduce the risk of losing at an Industrial Tribunal. In doing so, it’s likely they will also contribute to a reduction in the number of cases that reach the tribunal stage.
For enquiries regarding this article or to discuss any other employment matters please contact us on 0141 572 8427 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
NB: The figures quoted are provisional and subject to change. The final official figures are due to be published later in 2009.