Provisional employment tribunal statistics for October to December 2017 were recently published by the Ministry of Justice and when compared with the same period for 2016, the figures show a huge increase in claims.
There was a 90% increase in single claims and a 467% increase in multiple claims.
Single claims are made by an individual employee/worker relating to alleged breaches of employment rights. Multiple claims are where two or more people bring proceedings arising out of the same facts, usually against the same employer. Both types of claim can involve one or more jurisdictional complaints, eg: unfair dismissal, discrimination, unauthorised deductions etc. (The latter was the most common complaint).
Of the claims, 31% resulted in an Acas conciliated settlement, 8% were successful at a hearing and 5% were unsuccessful at a hearing. Others were withdrawn, struck out or there was a default judgement etc.
Information on these provisional figures can be found here.
The increase in claims follows the abolition of employment tribunal fees in July 2017. Individuals still, however, have to contact Acas for Early Conciliation as a first step with a large number of cases being resolved in this way.
The figures emphasise to employers the need to follow procedures and make sure they are in line with the Acas Code of Practice when dealing with discipline and grievance in the workplace. This involves fully investigating, allowing the right to be accompanied at hearings and dealing with any appeal as impartially as possible.
Denial of the right to be accompanied to a hearing by a work colleague or a trade union representative can result in compensation of two weeks’ pay. Where the employer has unreasonably failed to follow the guidance set out in Code, a tribunal can increase any award by up to 25%.
If you would like further information or support for your business on making sure your policies and procedures are up to date, please contact Sheila Watson on 01429 857082.