As the effects of the recession tell, recent annual statistics for employment tribunal services show claims submitted reached a record figure this year – up 56% on last year...
The most popular types of claim accepted by the tribunal were for unfair dismissal (57,400), unauthorised deductions from wages (75,000) and breach of contract (42,400). These showed an increase from last year's figures of approximately 8%, 54% and 23% respectively.
The figures come as no surprise to employment lawyers, who have noticed a significant upward trend in litigation against employers in the last 12 to 18 months.
Inevitably the recession has been a factor in this as employees who have little prospect of securing alternative employment feel they have no alternative and nothing to lose by bringing an employment tribunal case against their ex-employer.
The Dickinson Dees Employment Tribunal Trends Index shows that, if the current trend continues, employers will face around 370,000 more tribunal cases in the next three years (years ending 2011 to 2013) than they did in the previous three (years ending 2007 to
With an estimated average cost of £7,000 for every tribunal commenced,2 recession- battered employers will spend around £2.6bn more defending themselves in the coming three years than the previous three – an increase of 46%. James Wilders, an employment partner at Dickinson Dees, which specialises in advising employers, said:
“Since 1998 there has been an almost inexorable rise in the number of employment tribunals, with an average of 20,000 more new cases each year than in the previous one. This has been driven by numerous changes in employment law and regulations, combined with the increased damages available encouraging people, an increased awareness of workers’ rights and no-win-no-fee legal advisers to mount more cases.