Employment tribunal claims

Published

Contents
  1. 1. Main facts and figures
  2. 2. By ethnicity
  3. 3. Methodology
  4. 4. Data sources
  5. 5. Download the data

1. Main facts and figures

  • in 2007, 14% of employment tribunal claims were made by people from the Asian, Black, Mixed and Other ethnic groups, while employees from these groups made up 9% of the total working population

  • in 2012, 18% of claims were made by people from the Asian, Black, Mixed and Other ethnic groups, while employees from these groups made up 10% of the total working population

  • where the employment tribunal related to discrimination, around a quarter of claims were made by people from the Asian, Black, Mixed and Other ethnic groups in both 2007 and 2012

Things you need to know

The data is based on Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) surveys from 2007 and 2012, which is the most recent data available.

Around 2,000 claimants responded to the survey in both years.

The data for 2007 includes ‘multiple claims’ – cases where a group of people had the same grievance against an employer and the case was settled collectively. 10% of claims were multiple claims.

The data for 2012 does not include multiple claims and only measures ‘single claims’ (claims by an individual).

For that reason, data from 2007 is not comparable with data from 2012.

What the data measures

This data measures employment tribunal claims made by people who feel they have suffered a workplace grievance.

Typical reasons for an employee to make a claim are:

  • gender, age or race discrimination

  • unfair dismissal (when a person loses their job through unfair compulsory or voluntary redundancy practices, or through constructive dismissal, when they have been ‘forced out’ of a job)

  • breach of contract (when the terms and conditions of a person’s employment have been unfairly changed, for example their working hours or entitlement to sick pay)

  • unauthorised deduction of earnings (when an employee has not been paid the agreed sum of money for work done)

The ethnic categories used in this data

For this data, the number of people surveyed (the ‘sample size’) was too small to draw any firm conclusions about specific ethnic categories. Therefore, the data is broken down into the following 5 broad groups:

  • Asian/Asian British
  • Black/African/Caribbean/Black British
  • Mixed/Multiple ethnic groups
  • White
  • Other ethnic group

2. By ethnicity

Percentage of employment tribunal claims by ethnicity of claimant
All Unfair dismissal Breach of contract Wages Act Discrimination Other (including redundancy payments)
Ethnicity 2007 2012 2007 2012 2007 2012 2007 2012 2007 2012 2007 2012
Asian 5 5 3 5 4 5 5 3 11 9 3 3
Black 5 7 4 7 4 8 5 6 8 12 3 4
Mixed 2 2 withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 2 3 3 3 3 3 2 withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable
White 86 82 91 85 86 81 82 85 75 73 91 88
Other 2 withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 2 withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 2 withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 3 withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 4
Unknown withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 2 withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 2 3 3 2 2 withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable

Download table data (CSV) Source data (CSV)

Summary

This data shows that:

  • in 2012, White people made 82% of all employment tribunal claims, while accounting for 90% of the working population

  • specifically, White people made 85% of claims for both unfair dismissal and breaches of the Wages Act, 73% of discrimination claims, and 88% of claims for other grievances

  • in 2012, Black people made 7% of all employment tribunal claims, while accounting for 2% of the working population

  • specifically, Black people made 7% of claims for unfair dismissal, 8% of claims for breach of contract, 6% of claims for unauthorised deduction of earnings, 12% for discrimination claims, and 4% of claims for other grievances

3. Methodology

The 2007 data was drawn from a survey using a simple random sample taken from all employment tribunal cases which had closed between January 2007 and January 2008. There were 2,020 telephone interviews with claimants, a response rate of 66%.

The 2012 data was drawn from a survey which took a random sample of all single employment tribunal claims which had closed between January 2012 and December 2012.

The sample was stratified according to:

  • case outcome (successful at tribunal, unsuccessful at tribunal, Acas settled, other settled, withdrawn, dismissed)
  • case track (fast, standard and open)

There were 1,988 telephone interviews with claimants, a response rate of 53%.

Suppression rules and disclosure control

Percentages lower than 2% have been suppressed as they are not large enough to be reliable.

Rounding

Percentages are rounded to the nearest whole number.

Related publications

Sixth Periodic Survey of Employment Tribunal Applications 2013: Technical report (PDF)

4. Data sources

Source

Type of data

Survey data

Type of statistic

Official statistics

Publisher

Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy

Publication frequency

Every 4 to 5 years

Purpose of data source

The Survey of Employment Tribunal Applications (SETA) aims to provide information on the characteristics of claimants in employment tribunals.

5. Download the data

Employment tribunal claims - Spreadsheet (csv) 9 KB

This file contains the following: ethnicity, year, tribunal claim type, value, denominator