2020 Employment Tribunal Claims report
Last year the employment tribunal statistics reported on the first full year where no employment tribunal fees had been paid. Not surprisingly the number of claims made had increased.
This year’s MoJ report - which looks at April 2019 to March 2020 (so was largely, but not completely, unaffected by the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown) - we see a reduction in the number of claims made year on year for the first time since the abolition of tribunal fees.
In the year 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020 a total of 103,984 employment tribunal applications were made. This compares to 121,111 the previous year and 109,685 in 2017/18. This reduction comes as something of a surprise as it had seemed likely that numbers would keep increasing following the abolition of fees and we are still some way off the 2012/13 high of 191,541 claims. It is very likely though that fewer claims than usual were raised in March as the coronavirus pandemic took effect.
The number of awards of compensation has fallen from 774 in 2018/19 to 740 in 2019/20. This is a very small proportion of the overall number of ACAS claims raised but is should be remembered that a very significant number of cases will resolve themselves, usually on a confidential basis, by way of a financial settlement before a Tribunal hearing takes place.
We think this may demonstrate that Insurers are making more commercial settlements to avoid Tribunal attendance. The trend is not helpful for controlling the cost of employment disputes from an employer point of view.
Age discrimination claims have the largest average award (£39,000) compared to other types of discrimination. The highest maximum award in 2019/20 was for disability discrimination, at £266,000.
In the coming year we still expect to see at least 150,000 new ACAS applications, which is an average of 650 every working day.
Our advice to employers is that the only way to keep the cost of tribunal disputes from hitting their balance sheet is with effective employment protection insurance!
Please call Brian Dunk or Mark Baker on 01935 389812 for more information.