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News from the sharp end

08 July 2010

The number of people seeking to resolve a workplace dispute by going to tribunal has shot up since the start of the recession, with around 90,000 cases heard last year – nearly 33 per cent up on the average for the previous three years.

A survey of 2008 employment tribunal applications has been published recently. Willans has picked out a few trends and statistics from the hefty document, which runs to nearly 300 pages.

  • Claimants are more likely to be men, managerial workers or aged 45 or over.
  • Small employers are much more likely to face a tribunal claim: 27 per cent of cases came from workplaces with fewer than 25 employees whereas only 19 per cent came from organisations with 250+ employees.
  • It takes employers an average of 5 days of their time to deal with a tribunal claim.
  • In 7 out of 10 cases, the employees had put their concerns in writing to their employers and had a formal meeting with them before bringing a claim. This suggests that most employers should be able foresee the possibility of a claim and perhaps introduce better handling initially, in order to prevent it.
  • Over half of all claims were settled, with the average settlement amount being £5,431. By comparison, the average award made by tribunals in claims successful at hearing was £12,052.

If you need clear and pragmatic legal advice, we’re here to help so please get in touch.

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Disclaimer: All legal information is correct at the time of publication but please be aware that laws may change over time. This article contains general legal information but should not be relied upon as legal advice. Please seek professional legal advice about your specific situation - contact us; we’d be delighted to help.
Nick Cox LLB (Hons)
Consultant, solicitor
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Nick Cox
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