The Ministry of Justice have recently published their Employment Tribunal quarterly statistics, as part of the overall analysis of Tribunal Statistics across a number of sectors done three times a year. The recent publication, on 9 March 2023, covers the period from October to December 2022. In addition to providing statistics on the volume of Employment Tribunal cases received in these three months, the report also sets out figures on the cases disposed of by the Employment Tribunal, and an insight into the split of cases between single and multiple claims.
The statistics show that during the period October to December 2022, a total of 22,614 claims were received in the Employment Tribunal. As we progress further away from the midst of the Covid pandemic across the years 2020 – 2021, it is noteworthy to examine new trends emerging, and to see how Employment Tribunal cases are beginning to return to their pre-pandemic levels.
Receipt of claims:
7,572 single claims were received in Employment Tribunals from October to December 2022. This figure was up 6% from the same quarter in 2021, and represents a decrease of 3% from the last quarter’s figure of 7,808 single claims. Notably, single claim receipts have returned to levels seen prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, following a spike of such claims in the middle of 2020. This was a period of difficulty for both employees and employers navigating new issues, particularly relating to lay-offs, redundancy and the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), so the rise in tribunal claims at this point was unsurprising.
During the same period, 15,042 multiple claims were received by Employment Tribunals. This is where two or more people bring claims, arising out of the same or a very similar set of facts, which are processed together. The receipt in multiple claims represents a 59% increase on the figure of 9,440 for the same quarter in 2021, and a 50% increase from the 10,014 multiple claims received in Quarter 2 of 2022. This is a notable increase, and follows the same trend seen in the latter part of 2020, where the increase in multiple claims in particular was significant, before dropping back to their pre-pandemic level throughout 2021.
Disposal of claims:
As for the disposal of cases in October to December 2022, the Employment Tribunal disposed of a total of 17,040 claims, compared to 12,608 in Quarter 2 of 2022. Whilst this represents an improvement in outstanding cases over the year, this was significantly fewer than the 40,484 claims disposed of in the same quarter of 2021.
Of the 17,040 claims, 7,304 single claims were disposed of. This was almost 200 more than the previous quarter, and a 7% increase on the same quarter in 2021.
This was a significant reduction from the 33,653 recorded disposals in the same quarter in 2021, suggesting that delays in Employment Tribunals have become longer, however, it is important to note that this level of disposal in 2021 related to a multiple dismissal claim of 48,000 individuals at British Airways. This included those who had been made redundant during the pandemic.
The outstanding case load in Employment Tribunals at the end of December 2022 was 430,000. There are 45,000 single claims outstanding, a figure which continues to rise. This figure has now passed the peak levels seen in 2009/10 (36,000 in Quarter 2 of that year), driven by disposals being continuously lower than receipts. A huge factor in this increase was the halt in cases being dealt with at the beginning of the Covid pandemic, whilst this issue was navigated.
Avoiding Employment Tribunal Claims:
Statistics showing an increase in Employment Tribunal claims may of course seem alarming to employers. With this in mind, it is essential for employers to keep up to date with legislative changes. This is especially key at this time of the year, following the implementation of new facts and figures in April 2023. Please find a link to our article setting out the legislative changes for employers to be aware of.
You can also follow the Employment Team on LinkedIn to keep up with our monthly Workplace Law articles. We cover a number of up to date and topical issues, with the aim of assisting both employees and employers navigate legislative and other changes in the workplace.
We also run a HR Club sessions in which our Employment Team, and occasionally guest speakers, will deliver a talk on a variety of employment issues. We invite suggestions from attendees as to subjects to discuss, and dedicate time to answering specific questions from guests. Please use the box at the bottom of this page to register for employment law updates to receive future invitations.