Employment Cases Update

2018 Survey of Employment Tribunal Applications published

Date published: 13/07/2020

Findings from the 2018 Survey

The main aims of the 2018 study were:

- To obtain information on the characteristics of employment tribunal claimants and employers;

- To assess the costs of going to tribunals for claimants and employers;

- To monitor the performance of the employment tribunal claim process.

A selection of some of the findings have been reproduced below:

  • Oral discussions between parties, prior to the claim being submitted, took place in more than half of cases (according to 55% of claimants and 58% of employers).
  • Employers were more likely than claimants to say that the employee had been provided with a written statement of terms of conditions (91% compared with 73%), and that both written disciplinary and grievance procedures existed (95% compared with 55%).
  • At the time of the interview, 94% of those who had originally worked for the employer were no longer working for the same employer that they had brought the employment tribunal claim against. Of these claimants, 46% said that they were dismissed, while 24% resigned and 16% were made redundant or laid off.
  • 90% of claimants said that they agreed to take part in Acas early conciliation, as did 70% of employers. (It should be noted if the claimant did not agree to take part in early conciliation, the employer will not have been invited to do so.)
  • When asked about the various sources of information they had used to help them with their case, claimants were more likely than employers to use at least one of source of information, and also to use multiple sources. The Acas website was the most commonly used source amongst both claimants (73%) and employers (41%), followed by the gov.uk website (54% and 28% respectively) and the HMCTS website (47% and 22% respectively).
  • A settlement was reached in 58% of all cases surveyed (40% through Acas and 18% privately).  Financial reasons (46%) and saving time (26%) were the main reasons cited by employers who either settled or offered a settlement. Claimants were most likely to settle because they thought it was less stressful than proceeding with the claim (40%). If claimants withdrew their case, it was most likely to be because of cost (33%) or stress (23%).
  • 90% of cases that were settled consisted of a financial offer, according to the combined analysis of claimants and employers. In such cases, the median amount finally offered was £5,000 (lower than the median amount that claimants initially hoped to receive at the start of their case (£7,000)).
  • In the claimant data, 17% of all claims went to a full tribunal hearing. Overall, claimants at a full tribunal hearing were more likely to be unsuccessful than successful.
  • In around one in eight cases that went to a tribunal hearing (13%), an appeal was made to the Employment Appeal Tribunal about the decision made. Where an appeal was made, this was more likely to come from the claimant (78%) than the employer (22%).
  • Claimants were awarded costs in 26% of cases that involved a decision at tribunal, and employers in 6% of these cases.

The full report can be found here.