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Annie Hayes

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Bosses in the dock as employment tribunal cases climb

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The number of cases brought to employment tribunals in Great Britain in 2006-07 rose by 15 per cent, from 115,039 in 2005-06 to 132,577, according to official figures from the Tribunals Service.

The biggest rise comes in equal pay claims, showing a 155 per cent increase on 2005-06.

The number of cases disposed of during 2006-07 also rose, by 19 per cent, from 86,083 to 102,597. Multiple cases now make up 60 per cent of all cases received, compared to 55 per cent last year and 36 per cent in 2004-05.

Many cases involve more than one jurisdiction (complaint). Of the 238,546 jurisdictions lodged in total in 2006-07:

  • Some 972 were age discrimination claims;

  • 44,013 were equal pay claims;

  • 44,491 claims were for unfair dismissal;

  • 28,153 were for sex discrimination (a large number of these were in conjunction with equal pay claims);

  • 3,780 were for race discrimination; and

  • 5,533 were for disability discrimination.

With the exception of race discrimination, all showed an upwards trend.

Jeanne Spinks, chief operating officer of the Tribunals Service which administers employment tribunals, said: “The significant reason for the increase in employment tribunal cases in 2006-07 is a 155 per cent increase in equal pay claims. We have set up two dedicated teams to process equal pay cases from NHS staff and have been working closely with our judiciary to ensure that all equal pay claims are progressed as efficiently as possible. Despite an overall increase in cases this year, we’ve also managed to reduce the waiting times for single cases appearing before employment tribunals.

“During 2006-07, the Tribunals Service also piloted an early dispute resolution scheme in a number of our employment tribunals and we’ve worked closely with the new Department of Business, Enterprise & Regulatory Reform (formerly DTI) on their plans to revise employment dispute resolution procedures.”

The Employment Appeal Tribunal heard 432 cases at a full hearing in 2006-07, a decrease of 22 per cent on the year before.

One Response

  1. Tribunal Cases on the increase
    I would be interested to hear how many HR specialists and others who represent Employers, were invited to take part in the pilot of the Early Resolution Scheme referred to in this article……..and if you were, is it working and why??

    Cheers.

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