If you search on Google for “employment law statistics UK” you’ll probably find a lot of outdated content, with people listing the same stats that were first available over five and sometimes even ten years ago. However, this article is different; this is a complete list of the most important employment law stats every UK business and HR department needs to know.
Our employment law team check and update this article every three months to ensure we are bringing you the most up to date and relevant statistics on employment law across the UK.
Sadly, based on recent statistics, there is still a significant issue with bullying in the workplace across the UK. A report from SME loans revealed that over 23% of people in the UK feel that they have been bullied in the workplace. The report also stated that a further 25% of people feel they have been victim to passive bullying by being deliberately left out and many people stated (12%) that they have found it difficult to make friends in their place of work.
Perhaps most alarming is that employees do not feel comfortable talking to senior managers or their HR teams about the bullying they experience. In a report from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), over 25% of employees feel their employers “turn a blind eye” to workplace bullying. Another study based in the UK highlighted the issue of employers not taking the matter seriously, 22% of people surveyed said that despite reporting the bullying to the HR team, it was not dealt with and only 11% of people said the situation improved after reporting the bullying.
Worldwide studies report there has been little difference in the gender of employees who are bullied, in studies from 2013 – 2015 there showed no gender differences at all. However, in a study from ‘Zapf et al. 2020’, it showed the gender of victims of bullying were “over-represented” by women, although other recent studies from 2018 and 2019 show that in fact, men are those most exposed to workplace bullying. It is fair to say, while bullying is undoubtedly an issue, the results on how gender plays a part in bullying are inconclusive.
It appears bullying is more likely to happen to the younger generations at the start of their career. With 44% of people aged 21-24 saying they had experienced some bullying at work. This decreased in the 45-54 age bracket, which saw only 23% of people stating they had been bullied.
It’s perhaps somewhat surprising to learn that in 2021, sexual still rife with 60% of women in the UK stating that they have been subject to some form of sexual harassment in their workplace. The harassment takes several forms ranging from inappropriate comments through to serious assault.
Safeline, the specialist charity working to prevent sexual abuse reported that this figure is higher for women in the 16-24 age bracket where 63% of women were affected. Perhaps of most concern is the severity of some of the incidents taking place, which are actually sexual assault, rather than harassment.
It is important to note that, while many studies concentrate on sexual harassment affecting women in the workplace, it can affect anyone regardless of their gender and sexual orientation.
In recent statistics from statista.com, it showed that 13% of sexual harassment fell into the category of “whistling, rude gestures and comments” with a further 10% occurring in the form of comments causing embarrassment related to clothing or body. Instances of physical sexual harassment affect 8% of people who state they are the victim of sexual harassment with brushing against hands, face or legs being the most common complaints. In a report from the charity Rights of Women, it stated that 2% of callers to its helpline had been raped by a colleague and 3% found themselves a victim of stalking by a colleague.
The seriousness of sexual harassment cannot be understated or dismissed by employers. The consequences of sustained sexual harassment in the workplace can be devastating. Research from Stockholm University found that there is a link between increased suicide rates (three-times greater risk of suicide) and workplace sexual harassment.
It is clear employers are investing more and more in combating discrimination in the workplace. However, a survey from Glassdoor showed that in the UK up to 55% of employees state that they have witnessed, or experienced discrimination based on their gender, age, race or sexual orientation – the most common trigger being age (39), closely followed by gender (37) discrimination.
These statistics vary across the country, with London reporting the highest rate of discrimination. There are also vast variations depending on the sector employees work in; those working in art and culture, showing the highest level of discrimination at 63%.
2020 was a turbulent year for many businesses up and down the country. The furlough scheme has undoubtedly shielded a lot of businesses and protected many people from losing their jobs. Sadly, statistics show that this hasn’t been enough to protect everyone’s employment. The UK redundancy rate is increasing at the fastest rate since the recording of employment statistics began.
COVID-19 has inevitably had a significant impact on the number of people facing redundancy. The most recent stats from the Office of National Statistics show that the number of people losing their jobs through redundancy has increased by a staggering to 370,000 a 212% increase on last year.
Employment tribunals are another area affected by the COVID19 pandemic. In the most recent statistics from July 2020 to September 2020, it showed the largest increase in employment tribunal claims since 2013.
In the period from July to September 2020, there has been an increase in claims from individuals of 13%. For claims from multiple individuals, this figure is higher at 24%; speculation would suggest this is because of redundancies due to COVID19.
The highest average award in the employment tribunal relates to age discrimination claims (with an average pay out of £39,000). The highest maximum award was £266,000 for a disability discrimination case.