The Ministry of Justice has published ‘provisional management information’ showing employment tribunals’ receipts up to September 2013 – after the introduction of employment tribunal fees on 29 July 2013. The annual Employment Tribunals and EAT statistics for April to March 2012/13 have also been published as part of the quarterly (April to June 2013) statistics for all tribunals. Previously there was a separate annual statistics publication for employment tribunals and the EAT.
The provisional management information has been drawn from a live administrative system managed by HMCTS. Unison had reportedly made a freedom of information request for the information as part of its judicial review of the introduction of tribunal fees (see our news story of 18 June). However, the figures were released some time later, and not in response to the request suggesting that the Ministry of Justice had been intending to publish them anyway. The figures for this report have been extracted in advance of the usual extraction date, and as such the information is provisional and subject to revision in subsequent official statistics.
The information suggests that the total number of receipts by employment tribunals prior to the introduction of fees ranged between 5,066 in January to 4,421 in June. The number of receipts peaked at 7,307 in July before falling to 3,645 in August and just 1,117 in September. The Ministry of Justice note that under the business processes to facilitate fee-charging, a claim is not entered onto the internal case management system from which statistical data are extracted until the relevant fee is paid or remission application granted. This means that there may be a number of claims presented in August or September, but formally accepted at a later stage – for example after a remission application is granted.
The annual statistics show a 5,210 increase in the number of claims accepted. However, the increase was due to multiple claims and the number of single claims accepted fell 7.7 per cent.
The statistics also reveal that:
• the median award for unfair dismissal rose slightly to £4,832 but the largest percentage of claimants received awards of between £1,000-1,999
• the median award fell for all discrimination claims, apart from religious discrimination. Disability had the highest median award for discrimination claims of £7,536.
• there were 48 cost awards in favour of a respondent of over £10,000. In the years 2007/8 to 2010/11 there were only eight such awards
• the EAT received 2,296 appeals in 2012/13 an increase of 5.7 per cent on the previous year. Only 434 of these went on to a full hearing with 208, or 47.9 per cent of the appeals being allowed, and
• 79 per cent of EAT appeals were brought by employees. Appeals brought by employees were more likely to proceed to a final hearing, while those brought by employers were more likely to be withdrawn.
The next official statistics publication is expected on 12 December 2013.