In order to submit most claims to an employment tribunal, since 6 May 2014, prospective claimants are required to partake in mandatory early conciliation with ACAS.
The recently published ACAS statistics are therefore a good indication of the number of possible claims being pursued as well as providing a measure of how successful early conciliation is in settling cases.
The ACAS statistics for the period from April to June 2018 show:
- ACAS received 33,171 EC notifications. This is an increase of 53% compared to the equivalent quarter in 2017.
- Of those 33,171 notifications, 1,180 were group claims covering 14,000 individuals. This means that the total number of individuals was around 46,000.
- Of the notifications made to ACAS:
- 3,755 (12%) reached a settlement.
- 20,208 (65%) did not progress to a tribunal claim.
- the remaining 7,086 (23%) progressed to an employment tribunal claim. However, so far, a further 10% were settled by ACAS early conciliators and 3% were withdrawn.
Employment Tribunal (ET) Statistics
The most recent quarterly statistics published by the Ministry of Justice show that:
- In April to June 2018, single claims to employment tribunals rose by 165% compared to the same period in 2017. The publication attributes this rise to the abolition of ET fees on 26 July 2017.
- A total of 12,400 refund payments, with a value of over £10 million, were made by the ET refund scheme between October 2017 and 30 June 2018.
- Out of the 536 claims which received compensation for unfair dismissal for in 2017/18, the maximum award was £415,227 but the average award was £15,007. The highest award for a discrimination case was £242,130 and was awarded in a case concerning disability discrimination.
What Does This Mean for Employers?
Both the ACAS and Tribunal statistics show a rise in claims. Whilst it can be seen that a large percentage of claims which are notified to ACAS do not proceed to a tribunal claim (or a settlement agreement), employers should be aware that there is clearly an increased risk of litigation since the abolition of ET fees.
For further information on employment issues, please contact Michael Halsey in our Employment Law team, on 020 7665 0842.