July 31, 2020

employment tribunal

The seventh Survey of Employment Tribunal Applications (SETA) has been published by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

The survey aims to obtain information on the characteristics of employment tribunal claimants and employers, assess the costs of going to tribunal for claimants and employers, and monitor the performance of the employment tribunal claims process. Notable findings include an increase in the proportion of represented parties and a rise in the median settlement amount and median tribunal award.

The research and analysis for the most recent SETA was conducted in 2018, based on a sample of single claims disposed of between October 2016 and October 2017.


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The previous SETA was conducted in 2013, and BEIS has published a short summary of key changes between 2013 and 2018. It finds that the proportion of claimants with representation at the hearing has gone up from 33% to 41%, and that the corresponding percentage for employers has risen from 67% to 77%.


The amount that the median settlement at Tribunals has risen to over the past 5 years. 

It also finds that the median settlement has doubled across this period, rising from £2,500 in 2013 to £5,000 in 2018; and that the median tribunal award increased from £3,000 to £5,000.

However, the sample profile changed significantly between 2013 and 2018. The 2018 sample included more complex cases than the 2013 sample – in 2013, the more complex ‘open track’ cases made up 27% of the sample, whereas in 2018 the proportion was 40%.

 BEIS ascribes the increase in complexity to the introduction of mandatory early conciliation and the requirement to pay fees.

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