We recently analysed the quarterly Employment Tribunal figures released by the Ministry of Justice on 8th June 2023. We found that the breakdown in figures by stages of the employment tribunal process has not been published for the past eight quarters.
Whilst, of course, individual circumstances remain at the core for employment tribunals, understanding the statistical odds for both employers and employees of success based on the tribunal’s published statistics can be a powerful tool.
In this blog, we share what this lack of transparency means, provide a further analysis of the data and discuss the potential benefits of transparent data in resolving the increasing backlog of tribunal matters.
The Importance of Transparency Of Data For Employment Tribunals
With access to up-to-date information, transparency enables employers and employees to assess their statistical odds of success, make well-informed choices regarding settlement, and ultimately streamline the resolution of cases, potentially alleviating the mounting backlog of tribunal matters.
The lack of transparency raises significant concerns about the availability of current information and its impact on the fairness and efficiency of employment tribunals.
Gemma Clark, employment law expert at Wright Hassall, emphasises the significance of transparency in the employment tribunals and underscores the drawbacks of relying on outdated data for decision-making.
“This lack of transparency helps no one. Whilst individual circumstances of a case are the main thing, previously, we’ve been able to provide an idea to both employers and employees what their statistical odds of success were, factoring into consideration the tribunal’s published statistics. We could also suggest the best possible time to settle based on the end results. The data upon which we depend on to make those decisions is now at least two years old, making it far less reliable.
“Publishing those figures is likely to help assist with clearing the ever-increasing backlog of tribunal matters, as parties tend to make better-informed decisions when they are based on expertise and data, as opposed to just expertise.”
How Have Employment Tribunal Claims Changed Over The Past Year?
Comparing the first quarter of 2023 to the same period in 2022, we found that:
- Accepted claims increased by 24.8%.
- Age discrimination claims decreased by 14.6%.
- Breach of contract claims doubled.
- National minimum wage claims rose by 261%.
- Part-Time Workers' Regulations claims increased by 91.3%.
- Redundancy pay claims surged by 111%.
- Claims based on religion or belief discrimination halved.
- Working Time Directive claims saw a 61.2% increase.
The Rise in Legal Advice For Employment Tribunals
Another significant finding from the analysis was a slight increase in the use of legal advice by claimants. In 2022, 66.56% of claimants chose to seek assistance from a lawyer, compared to 64.6% in 2021. Although not reaching the levels seen in 2015 and 2016, when 84% and 86% of claimants used lawyers, this upward trend indicates the importance of professional guidance in navigating employment tribunal proceedings.
Decline in Trade Union Representation For Employment Tribunals
Interestingly, the analysis revealed a decline in trade union representation over the years. In 2022, only 2.14% of cases involved representation by a trade union, marking the lowest level in five years. This figure is significantly lower than the levels seen since 2016 and indicates a shift in the landscape of employment tribunal proceedings.
What Does The Latest Employment Tribunal Data Mean For Employers And Employees Going Forward?
The absence of transparency in the publication of employment tribunal data is a pressing issue affecting all parties involved in these legal proceedings. Our analysis demonstrates the impact of outdated information on decision-making and the need for accurate and up-to-date statistics.
Moreover, this analysis highlights the need for employers and employees to seek legal advice when dealing with employment tribunal matters. The expertise of legal professionals can significantly impact the outcomes of cases, ensuring that the rights and interests of both parties are protected.
If you’re experiencing an employment law issue, we can help. We support both employers and employees, so please click here to get in touch with one of our friendly team.