Employment news

Tribunal claims surge during lockdown

The number of tribunal claims has surged throughout lockdown, according to the latest statistics from the Ministry of Justice (MoJ), with experts warning the trend will continue to rise if employers are not “meticulous” in how they manage their redundancy processes.

The MoJ, in its quarterly report on tribunal statistics, revealed the “highest level of single employment tribunal claims since 2012/13”, which it attributed to the increasing unemployment levels due to the impacts of Covid-19 and stated would likely continue as the government’s job retention scheme comes to an end.

The number of single claims rose 18 per cent between April to June over the same period last year, from 8,772 to 10,318. Meanwhile, there was also a 21 per cent drop in the disposal of existing claims.

In contrast, there was a 43 per cent drop in the number of multiple claims, although disposals for such claims were also down 47 per cent in that period. By the end of the quarter, the total number of outstanding multiple claims had reached the highest level since 2014/15, at 417,765.

While “Nightingale Courts” have been introduced to help deal with the upturn in demand, with increased use of audio and video technology allowing additional remote hearings, some employment lawyers have warned the number of tribunal cases could rise further.