As many will already be aware, HM Courts & Tribunals Service publish statistics showing Employment Tribunal activity both on a quarterly and annual basis. These statistics pique the interest of myself and many other employment lawyers as they provide great insight into the number of claims received by the Employment Tribunal, the types of claims brought and the average awards in successful cases compared to previous years.
As with all statistics, when comparing the data to previous years, caution should be exercised. This is unfortunately particularly the case here as between March and May 2021, the Employment Tribunal transitioned to a new database which resulted in only partial statistics being available for the year 2021/2022.
Nevertheless, on 8 December 2022, quarterly statistics for July to September 2022 (Quarter 2 2022/2023) and annual statistics for 2020/2021 were published (these can be found here). While the report mentions that the data is still subject to checks, it goes on to say that there is “increasing confidence” in the numbers presented.
Volume of claims
The report does not contain any data on jurisdictional breakdowns for disposals, timeliness and outcome, as the data for these are still undergoing more rigorous checks and will not be presented until the checks are complete.
Nevertheless, the statistics do reveal the following for Q2 (July to September 2022):
- there were 18,000 Employment Tribunals (ET) receipts. 44% (7,800) of these were single claims receipts (which have returned to levels seen prior to the Covid-19 pandemic), and the remaining 56% (10,000) were multiple claims receipts. Compared to Q2 2021/2022, these latest figures reveal that overall, ET receipts decreased by 19%.
- the ET disposed of 13,000 cases in Q2 2022/23, which represents an increase of 6% compared to Q2 2021/2022. 56% (7,100) of those claims disposed were single claim disposals, and the remaining 44% (5,500) were multiple claim disposals.
- At the end of the financial year, 493,000 cases were outstanding (45,000 single claims, and 448,000 multiple claims). Although this represents a decrease of 3% compared to Q2 2021/2022, these figures do reveal an increase on the previous quarter. In particular, at the end of June 2022, statistics showed 43,000 single claims were outstanding along with 443,000 multiple claims.
Compensation and costs
Given the ongoing economic issues, many of us are interested to learn the latest compensation and costs figures for the ET for the year 2021/2022. With regards to this, the statistics (albeit limited to those cases that have progressed to final hearing and therefore do not represent settlements out of court) reveal:
- There were 630 claims that received compensation for unfair dismissal and the average award for these types of claims was £13,541. Interestingly, while this average award represents an increase from the previous year (when the average award was £12,080), this figure reverts back to the similar figure (£13,704) reported in 2018/2019 (pre-pandemic).
- The maximum unfair dismissal award stood at £165,000 which, although not the highest figure since 2007/2008, was nevertheless an increase from the highest awards recorded in the previous two years
- The highest discrimination award was £228,117 for a race discrimination case
- Compared to other claims, sexual orientation discrimination claims received the largest average award of £32,680
- While average award figures tend to be skewed by one off high awards made, many of us will focus on the median awards for different types of claims and for 2021/2022, these are as follows:
- Unfair dismissal £7,650
- Race discrimination £14,120
- Sex discrimination £17,959
- Disability discrimination £14,000
- Religious/belief discrimination £25,968
- Sexual orientation discrimination £28,384
- Age discrimination £12,480
- 184 costs awards were made (134 to Respondents and 50 to Claimants) which again represents an increase on the previous two years with the highest award being £600,673. While this seems a significant figure, this is of course not awarded regularly given the median costs award was £2,500 and the average (although the highest since 2007/08) was £8,818.
We await and will report on the next set of statistics (quarterly statistics to be released in March 2023). These, together with next set of annual statistics, will hopefully represent a full and accurate picture to reveal the difference (if any) particularly in the number and types of claims being issued and the sums awarded in successful cases. By this time, we should also have further information on the Government’s press release regarding its plan to invest £2.85 million to help clear the Tribunal backlog. This press release can be found here.
Our content explained
Every piece of content we create is correct on the date it’s published but please don’t rely on it as legal advice. If you’d like to speak to us about your own legal requirements, please contact one of our expert lawyers.