Tribunal Stats out : huge rise in claims

The 2005/06 Annual Report has just been published. The key findings are:

How many claims
Total claims went up to 115,000 from 86,000 the year before (but are at the same level as 2003/04). Of these claims 12,000 were rejected by the Tribunal without the need for the employer to put in a defence, on technical grounds. About 4500 of these claims were resubmitted and let through. There were only 340 religious discrimination claims and 321 sexual orientation claims.

Unfair Dismissal
22% of claims end up in a hearing. Of those decided by Tribunal the Claimant won 41%. The median award was £4228. For the statistically challenged this means that half of all claimants got more than this, and half got less. Only 62 claimants won more than £50,000.

Sex Discrimination
21% of claims end up at Tribunal and astonishingly there was an 81% success rate for employees. This is an aberration in the figures - last year it was 29% - the cause appears to be a series of victories in class actions covering several hundreds of women. The median award was £5546 and only 4 claimants got over fifty grand.

Race Discrimination
21% of race claims go all the way but of those claimants taking it to the wire only 14% won. The median award was £6640 and only 5 awards were made over £50,000.

Disability Discrimination
16% of DDA claims get to a final hearing where the employee won a quarter of the cases. £9021 was the halfway point in awards. 9 claimants won over £50,000.

This is very useful information for all concerned with the Tribunal system to manage expectations. It may even help to provide a corrective to the media-inspired belief that employers are being fleeced by greedy employees, soft Tribunals and rapacious lawyers. The plain fact is that most employees lose and those that win don't get to live the life of Riley on the proceeds.

Costs Ordered (always of interest to the lawyers...)
580 orders were made by the Tribunal for one party to pay the others costs - a quarter against the claimants, 75% against the respondents.

Keeping all these claims on the move are 129 Tribunal Chairs (down 1 on last year) and 744 staff (down from 763). The system costs £69.7 million to run (a little less than the year before). Trebles all round for handling more cases with less staff and less money.

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