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Jul 2020

Survey of Employment Tribunal Applications

In 2018 the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy carried out the seventh Survey of Employment Tribunal Applications. The key aims of this study were to:

  • obtain information regarding the characteristics of employment tribunal claimants and employers;
  • assess the costs of proceeding to the Tribunal for both parties; and
  • to monitor the performance of the Tribunal claim process.

The results of the survey have now been published, which include a short summary of key changes between 2013, when the previous survey took place, and 2018, which can be broadly summarised as follows:

  • the proportion of claimants with legal representation at the hearing has increased from 33% to 41%, and the corresponding percentage for employers has risen from 67% to 77%;
  • the average settlement has doubled, rising from £2,500 in 2013 to £5,000 in 2018; and
  • the average tribunal award increased from £3,000 to £5,000. This is, however, lower than the £7,000 that claimants were hoping to achieve at the start of their case.

The findings of the survey also show that the complexity of matters has increased, with 40% of cases being more complex, as opposed to 27% in 2013. This is said to be as a result of the introduction of mandatory early conciliation and the requirement to pay fees (which has since been abolished).

The results of the survey show that 58% of cases settled in 2017 and where claims went to a full tribunal hearing, claimants were more likely to be unsuccessful than successful.

The full findings of the survey can be found at:


Proceeding to the Tribunal to bring a claim against a current or former employer can be daunting, as can defending a claim, if you are an employer. The Employment Team at Thackray Williams have vast experience in representing both individuals and employers in the Employment Tribunal and are available to answer any queries you may have.

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