Thursday, 2 September 2010

ACAS Annual Report Reveals 13% Increase in Employment Claims

ACAS Annual Report Reveals 13% Increase in Employment Claims

ACAS, the independent employment relations service, have recently published their annual report and accounts for the 2009/10 period. The report provides an insight into the volume of disputes arising out of employment relationships.

ACAS reports that although the number of large-scale collective disputes being referred to ACAS has dropped, there was a 13% increase in the amount of individual employment claims totalling 87,421 for the year, 25% more than they were resourced to deal with. They also reported a drop in the overall rate of resolution indicating that more cases are proceeding to expensive tribunal hearings.

Over 45% of individual employment claims involved unfair dismissal, 10,000 more claims than the previous year, and more than 25,000 claims were made relating to discrimination on grounds of sex, race or disability. To put this in a financial context, the average awards made in 2008/09 ranged from £27,235 for Disability Discrimination to £7,959 in cases of Unfair Dismissal.

Whilst it is never possible to wholly prevent claims, the figures published by ACAS remind us of the fact that effective policies, procedures and employment contracts can save hundreds, if not thousands, of pounds defending claims. Employers need to ensure they are in the best position to mount a defence.

If you find that you are in need of advice about Employment Tribunal claims please contact our Head of Employment, Martin Williams

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