Since the UK Supreme Court abolished tribunal fees in July 2017 employment tribunal (ET) claims have continued to increase quarter on quarter. The Ministry of Justice (MOJ) have recently published the latest figures for the quarter October 2018 to December 2018.
There has been an increase of 23% (9,811) of single ET claims when compared with the previous year’s quarter (2017).
According to the MOJ the common complaint disposed of for this quarter was ‘unauthorised deduction’ of pay; whereas in the same quarter in 2017 it was ‘unfair dismissal’
Employment Tribunal Fee Refunds
The ET fee refunds scheme was introduced in October 2017 and since its launch 21,800 applications were made and a total of 21,300 applicants received refunds to the tune of £16,950,000!
According to the MOJ in the quarter 1st October 2018 and 31st December 2018, 337 refund applications were received and 1,300 refund payments were made with a total value of £1,123,300.
Average Employment Tribunal Awards
The highest tribunal awards for 2017/2018 were:
unfair dismissal: £415,227
race discrimination: £124,979
sex discrimination: £36,616
disability discrimination: £242,130
religious discrimination: £6,846
sexual orientation discrimination: £24,100
Injury to Feeling Awards
The Presidents of the Employment Tribunals (England & Wales) and (Scotland) have issued further guidance on awards for injury to feelings in discrimination cases. They were last updated in September 2017.
The old rates were as follows:
- £900 to £8,600 (lower band);
- £8,600 to £25,700 (middle band); and
- £25,700 to £42,900 (upper band).
The new rates will apply to all case presented on or after 6 April 2019:
The new rates:
- a lower band of £900 to £8,800 (less serious cases)
- a middle band of £8,800 to £26,300 (cases that do not merit an award in the upper band), and
- an upper band of £26,300 to £44,000 (the most serious cases), with the most exceptional cases capable of exceeding £44,000
Given the rapid increase in the amount of complaints to Employment Tribunals employers need to ensure now more than ever that their policies and procedures are legally compliant and making sure that the correct procedures are followed through with having regards to current legislation.
Employers need to consider not only the legal fees and the risk of being unsuccessful in litigation but also the management and HR time spent in defending claims which can be very costly!
We can provide you with the type of support/advice that your business needs to minimise or indeed prevent your business from the perils of the minefield that is employment law. Call us today for a quote tailored to your business needs.
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