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The employment tribunal continues to be awash with frivolous claims, but according to a new report, only 4 per cent of claimants won last year
The results were published in a report by the Engineering Employers' Federation (EEF) on the results of employment tribunal claims. This coincides with a Department of Trade & Industry (DTI) report surveying tribunal users in 2,700 cases. Both surveys relate to 2001. According to the EEF, 78 per cent of claims were settled or withdrawn by the claimant before reaching tribunal. Only 17 per cent of the remaining 22 per cent that made it to hearings were successful, against 22 per cent in 2000. The EEF reported a slight drop of 7 per cent in the number of employment tribunal claims from 3,255 in 2000 to 3,028 last year. Tribunal awards of more than £10,500 went to 17 per cent of successful unfair dismissal claims, an increase of 10 per cent on the previous year, while 63 per cent of discrimination claims were settled for £3,000 or less. The DTI's survey concluded that public sector employees bring more than double the number of discrimination claims as private sector employees. They are also more likely to withdraw their cases and less likely to settle. Daniel Barnett, employment barrister at 2 Gray's Inn Square, said: "This is probably because public body employers tend to have very well developed procedures, which are carefully adhered to." The report also states that 7 per cent of claims are brought by men and 15 per cent of race claims are brought by white people. Stress led 16 per cent of employees to withdraw their cases and solicitors were consulted by 63 per cent of employers and 49 per cent of employees.