Tribunal claims surged during lockdown

Experts warn the rise is likely to continue if employers are not meticulous about redundancy processes and urge firms to avoid basic errors.

The number of claims lodged at employment tribunals surged during the first three months of lockdown, official figures show, as experts warn the coronavirus crisis could see claims “skyrocket”.

The latest statistics from the Ministry of Justice reveal the number of single claims – where claims are made by an individual claimant – made between April and June this year was 10,318, an 18 per cent rise compared to the same three months of 2019, when this figure stood at 8,772.

This was accompanied by a drop in claims being disposed of – where the court issues a summary judgment without a full hearing. These fell to 4,496, down 21 per cent compared to 5,695 the previous year.

However, disposals for multiple claims were also down 47 per cent over this period compared to 2019. As such, by the end of the quarter, the total number of outstanding multiple claims had risen to 417,765 – the highest level since 2014/15.

Overall, just 6,400 of all employment tribunal claims were disposed of during April to June, down 31 per cent on last year. “This decline in disposals is likely due to Covid-19-related impacts on the tribunals,” the report stated.

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